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Remodelling and extension of end-of-terrace house completed by Neil Dusheiko Architects

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Sited in a conservation area of west London, the project uses hand-crafted bricks to add texture and character to new daylight-flooded living spaces

The brief for the Petersen Brick House project was to create new living spaces with good natural lighting for a young family, adding a study space for working at home and better connecting the house with the underused garden. 

For planning reasons, the ground floor of the extension, which contains the kitchen/living space, is sited at a lower level, so it sits below the line of the existing side boundary wall. At the first floor, the extension contains a study area and a clear definition is created between the new and the existing by using dark-coloured, hand-crafted Petersen bricks – with these repeated in contrasting yellow colour in the interior lining of the open-plan kitchen/living space below.

This is linked to the rear garden through a large, stepped aluminium portal with extensive glazed openings, bringing light in and bringing house and garden together.

56 pbh 7174 © tc 4* low

56 pbh 7174 © tc 4* low

Source: Tim Crocker

Architect’s view 

Our clients wanted their house to have a clean, modern aesthetic but also required the materials used to have a sense of craft. We achieved this using Petersen bricks, hand-made in Denmark. Each brick has the thumbprint of the person who made it and they create a warm, textured surface inside. We also worked with White and Reid, who made the kitchen worktop and island in situ, pouring the liquid concrete into a mould built on site.

The hand-made elongated brick is continued internally to the flank wall, in stacked bond, drawing the eye up to a large skylight catching the morning light. We tried to bring natural light into the previously dark, congested centre of the plan, which was achieved through skylights and a glazed metal screen to illuminate an existing dark corridor.

Internally, we used a material palette of natural stone floor tiles, the Petersen brick, bespoke concrete worktop, richly textured black oak flooring and sharp white walls give a contrast to the existing building. The material contrast from exterior to interior offers a sense of calm to the domestic space within the building. We used the same stone tiles inside and out, linking the kitchen to the new garden space.

61 pbh05 © as 4* low

61 pbh05 © as 4* low

Source: Agnese Sanvito

The site’s prominent location, not only as an end-of-terrace house but also within a conservation area, meant that the composition and material treatment of the new extension would need to respond to its context and surroundings.

Searching through old planning archives, we discovered that the site actually had planning permission for a garage building that was never implemented. We discussed this issue with the Conservation Department and an agreement was reached about the possible massing and materiality the next extension could have.

It was important to us to retain the existing historic proportion of spaces and to ensure that the existing line of terraces maintained their integrity. Our new extension is read clearly as a new layer against the older building.

We also added a green sedum roof to the perimeter of the lower roofs to encourage bio-diversity and to give the upper rooms, particularly the study, a more pleasant outlook, linking the upper levels to the garden.

37 pbh 7158 © tc 5* low

37 pbh 7158 © tc 5* low

Source: Tim Crocker

The property was completely gutted and refurbished internally. We carried out studies exploring ways to maximise solar penetration where we could. By strategically placing skylights along the perimeter where the extension met the existing parts of the house, we ensured that sunlight would reach areas of the plan that were previously dark. We also placed glazed screens along corridors to maximise transparency. Windows placed on either end of the property ensure adequate cross-ventilation.

A mixture of cavity wall insulation and internal wall insulation, alongside robust, airtight details is designed to ensure the house stays warm in winter, with minimal heat loss. We upgraded insulation levels in the envelope using Kooltherm K18 insulated plasterboard to the walls and a combination of rigid insulation and Rockwool to the floors and roof. All windows are high-quality, thermally broken, double-glazed argon gas-filled units.

We used the thermal mass properties in the concrete tiled floor to retain heat generated by the embedded underfloor heating pipes. Where lighting was provided, we sought to use low-energy LED lighting wherever possible and eco-rated appliances, an eco-rated boiler and hot water storage tank.

Neil Dusheiko, director, Neil Dusheiko Architects

Pbh 2018 pl005 section aa

Pbh 2018 pl005 section aa

Source: Neil Dusheiko Architects


Project data

Start on site Feb 2017
Completion Feb 2018
Gross internal floor area 150m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 210m²
Form of contract JCT IFC with CD
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Neil Dusheiko Architects
Client Private
Structural engineer Fluid Structures
M&E consultant Neil Dusheiko Architects
QS Peter Ficken
Landscape consultant Stefano Marinaz Landscape Architecture
CDM co-ordinator AGA
Approved building inspector Green Door
Main contractor Space Contractors
CAD software used Vectorworks
Annual COemissions 33.64kg/m² 
Area weighted U-values (W/m²K) 
0.30 (brick walls); 0.22 (pitched roof); 1.20 (fully-glazed doors); 1.20 (rooflights)

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