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FIRST LOOK

Gruff’s extension to south London home features planted internal courtyard

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The £300,000 extension for this south London home includes an internal courtyard bringing lots of planting into the centre of the building

Sitting within London’s Brockley Conservation Area, Gruff Architects’ extension takes influences from the warmer climate and lifestyle of Australia with the architecture focused around a centrally planted courtyard. This both divides the original house from its new extension and brings natural light and soft planting into the heart of the scheme.

The extension includes a kitchen, utility and dining space for the clients, a family of three.

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Gruff worked closely with Michael Coley Garden Design to create the courtyard garden which features neutral, evergreen and hardy plants for longevity.

At the back of the extension, a section of corner glazing brings direct sunlight into the floor plan. Study spaces have been located to overlook the internal courtyard with timber glazing which allows the spaces to be opened up during the summer.

A material palette of natural timbers, exposed brickwork and glazing is used externally and internally. The pitched roof frames a full-length flat rooflight to the ridge of the extension.

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Architect’s view

Our client’s brief, to replicate the outside lifestyle of a warmer climate, set an interesting opportunity for us. We challenged the lack of outdoor-living by sitting a fully glazed courtyard centrally within the plan of the house. Inserting elements of ‘garden’ into the building footprint blurs the inside with the outside by offering moments of interaction with planted, naturally lit areas.

Rhys Cannon, director, Gruff Architects

Harefield road prop ground floor plan

Project data 

Start on site July 2018
Completion date August 2019
Gross internal floor area 180m² (added areas 32m²)
Form of contract or procurement route RIBA Domestic Building Contract 2018
Construction cost £300,000
Architect Gruff Architects
Client Private
Structural engineer CBS Engineering
Landscape consultant Michael Coley
Approved building inspector Assent Building Control
Main contractor MPRM
CAD software used MicroStation

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