A Light Touch

Ar­chi­tect Andy Ra­mus of AR De­sign Stu­dio ex­plains how an in­ter­nal re­model and dra­matic ex­ten­sion breathes new life into this Grade II-listed home

Homebuilding & Renovating - - CONTENTS - Pho­tog­ra­phy: Mar­tin Gard­ner c/o AR De­sign

A listed home is dra­mat­i­cally re­mod­elled and ex­tended

Af­ter mov­ing back to the UK from Hong Kong, our clients bought this Grade II-listed Vic­to­rian red-brick prop­erty, hav­ing fallen for its scale and charm. They ap­proached our team at AR De­sign

Stu­dio to help bring it up to modern stan­dards and pro­vide a much-needed con­nec­tion to their stun­ning gar­den.

Our ap­proach fo­cused on a sen­si­tive restora­tion along with the ad­di­tion of a 98m2 rear ex­ten­sion to house an open plan kitchen/din­ing/liv­ing area.

Three steps sep­a­rate the old and the new, guid­ing the home­own­ers into the hor­i­zon­tal space of the ex­ten­sion, where the views of the gar­den and pool are re­vealed. (Large dou­ble-glazed slid­ing doors in the ex­ten­sion open to blur the bound­aries be­tween in­side and out.)

A 1.5m-wide glass link pro­vides a ‘light-touch’ ap­proach and re­duces the im­pact on the listed build­ing, al­low­ing the char­ac­ter of its brick­work to be en­joyed. Open door­ways be­tween this new space and the ex­ist­ing prop­erty also al­low light to flood deep into the house.

The ‘gar­den room’ hub of the home has been clad in dark­grey fi­bre-ce­ment board, cho­sen for its clean char­ac­ter and large for­mat, and to match the tone and colour of the ex­ist­ing slate roof. This theme is con­tin­ued in the use of large 3m x 2m ce­ramic grey tiles for the pool, land­scap­ing and the in­te­rior floor, with a flush thresh­old through­out to unite the spa­ces in­side and out.

Where once the house loomed over its quiet gar­den, now it em­braces and draws it in. The ex­ist­ing spa­ces within this home were re­dec­o­rated, pe­riod fea­tures re­ju­ve­nated and the orig­i­nal tim­ber floor ex­posed and treated. The en­trance and side hall also now fea­ture a be­spoke glass and tim­ber stair­case, de­signed to help flood the spa­ces with light. This sym­pa­thetic restora­tion has helped in­vig­o­rate the once dark home with light and space.

A Modern Ad­di­tion The ex­ist­ing Grade II-listed Vic­to­rian prop­erty (above), de­spite its size, suf­fered from a poor con­nec­tion with the large gar­den and was very dated in­ter­nally. Thanks to a large ‘gar­den room’ glazed ex­ten­sion (far right), the home now ben­e­fits from a new con­tem­po­rary kitchen/din­ing/liv­ing space which both over­looks and opens out onto a pa­tio area and the gar­den be­yond. Ex­ten­sive use of glass here also al­lows the newly ren­o­vated in­te­ri­ors to ben­e­fit from bor­rowed nat­u­ral day­light.

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