Award win­ning home ex­ten­sion that works just as well as it looks

This stun­ning kitchen ex­ten­sion has just won a RIBA White Rose Award. Sharon Dale re­veals why it wowed the judges.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

WHEN Karen and Chris Horse­field bought a Vic­to­rian semi in Sh­effield seven years ago, they were keen to make the house their own

Af­ter a flurry of dec­o­rat­ing and re­vamp­ing they were left with just one area to trans­form.

It was one of the most im­por­tant ar­eas of the house but the dark kitchen, housed in a 1970s flat-roofed ex­ten­sion, pre­sented such a co­nun­drum it took them three years to de­cide what to do with it.

“It was the Cin­derella of the house,” says Karen.

“It was dark and looked like a sauna with lac­quered pine units and a low, wood clad ceil­ing. Its small win­dows looked out at a dou­ble garage and drive­way.

“It was com­pletely out of kil­ter with the rest of the house that boasts high ceil­ings and orig­i­nal pe­riod fea­tures. What we re­ally wanted was kitchen area that was easy to cook in and so­cia­ble, meet­ing the needs of ev­ery­day fam­ily life as well as be­ing per­fect for en­ter­tain­ing.”

The cou­ple, who have three young chil­dren, fi­nally called in Howard Evans, of Prue Chiles Ar­chi­tects.

Howard sug­gested de­mol­ish­ing the 1970s ex­ten­sion and reusing the stone to cre­ate a new struc­ture that would be more sym­pa­thetic to the orig­i­nal house.

Inside, his plans de­picted a con­tem­po­rary kitchen din­ing room that max­imised ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to flood the space with nat­u­ral light via roof lights, pic­ture win­dows and bi-fold doors.

“The room is now de­fined by a roof­s­cape that fol­lows the lines of the tra­di­tional roof planes whilst large scale sculp­tural rooflights break through, cap­tur­ing views of the sky and the orig­i­nal build­ing,” says Howard.

“The re­sult­ing space feels at one with the stat­uesque re­cep­tion rooms of the orig­i­nal Vic­to­rian house but is un­com­pro­mis­ingly mod­ern. The ma­te­rial pal­ette is kept sim­ple, us­ing tim­ber to de­fine the kitchen space whilst a di­a­mond cut stone floor runs from inside to out. The space is dom­i­nated by a large, black con­crete is­land unit that is echoed at roof level by a large sculp­tural rooflight.

“Ex­ter­nally, the ma­te­rial pal­ette re-uses the ex­ist­ing stone and slate, in­stantly age­ing the build­ing. Crisp de­tail­ing of the new el­e­ments, such as win­dows and the roof edge ac­cen­tu­ates the con­tem­po­rary feel of the ex­ten­sion.

“The win­dows are de­signed to max­imise light into the room and the frames are kept min­i­mal to cre­ate an al­most frame­less feel from the inside.”

The ex­ten­sion was con­structed by lo­cal builder John Sunter and his team of spe­cial­ist ma­sons and roofers and took about eight months, which gave Karen and Chris an op­por­tu­nity to ra­tio­nalise their be­long­ings.

“We used the util­ity room as a tem­po­rary kitchen and it turned out to be a great ex­er­cise.

“We re­alised we didn’t need any more than four or five pans and we cer­tainly didn’t need loads of serv­ing bowls,” says Karen.

Their slimmed down col­lec­tion of kitchen para­pher­na­lia fits per­fectly into the new units from Sh­effield-based Kitchen Cre­ation, which were fit­ted to a de­sign by Howard and Karen.

The cook­ing area is con­fig­ured like a gal­ley kitchen, with stor­age, a pull-out larder cup­board, Aga and fridge along one wall. A large is­land runs par­al­lel and houses draw­ers for crock­ery and pans, the sink, dish­washer and cook­books.

“The de­sign means that ev­ery­thing is at hand whether you’re cook­ing or un­load­ing the dish­washer. It also en­ables chil­dren or guests to sit across from the cook on the other side of the is­land,” says Karen.

The din­ing ta­ble is placed be­neath the large pic­ture win­dow so din­ers have a view through this and the bi-fold doors into the new court­yard gar­den that re­placed the garage and drive­way.

The sand­stone kitchen floor runs onto the pa­tio so when the doors open there’s a sense of con­ti­nu­ity and of bring­ing the out­side in.

Clever ideas like this that en­hance the kitchen and there are lots more, in­clud­ing the air­brick ven­ti­lated larder, stor­age draw­ers un­der the built-in bench for chil­dren’s craft ma­te­ri­als and LED lights in the sky­lights.

Karen says: “Howard bril­liantly an­swered our ob­jec­tives. The kitchen is all we hoped for and much more.

“It’s a space that ev­ery­one likes to spend time in, day and night. The de­sign it­self is stun­ning; even be­fore the ad­di­tion of fix­tures and fit­tings it was a beau­ti­ful space.

“Throughout the process from de­sign to com­ple­tion, Howard has been very in­volved, pay­ing reg­u­lar site vis­its and re­spond­ing to prob­lems with good hu­mour and pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

“He even re­sponded to my emails ask­ing for his in­put on paint colours and light fit­tings.”

The project cost around £60,000, in­clud­ing the new court­yard, and al­though Karen and Chris splashed out on some items, in­clud­ing the Artemide spi­ral light from David Vil­lage, they saved in other ar­eas.

The Aga cooker was re­con­di­tioned and bought from J. Wray in Cat­t­er­ick.

There has never been any doubt that it was money well spent but fur­ther con­fir­ma­tion came re­cently when the ex­ten­sion won a RIBA (Royal In­sti­tute of British Ar­chi­tects) White Rose award.

“What started life as a Six­ties box and the worst part of the house is now the best room we’ve got,” says Karen.

ROOM SER­VICE: The ex­ten­sion is now a light-filled, con­tem­po­rary space that the Horse­field fam­ily love to spend time in. It doesn’t just look good ei­ther. The room is prac­ti­cal and er­gonomic

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.