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Home economics

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This year's aj Small Projects competition shows what architects are able to achieve with budgets of under £150,000. Selected schemes from this week's crop of residential projects and next week's round-up of other building types will be exhibited at the ri


The clients wanted to retain the character and charm of the existing listed building in Uffington, Oxfordshire, while extending it to provide a contrasting modern addition with maximum natural light and a tranquil westerly outlook. The two-storey coach house was extended westwards to form a new staircase, hall, cloakroom and second upstairs bedroom while a new single-storey wing provides an open- plan living area, utility room and master bedroom with bathroom. The main feature of this wing is the 12m long sliding glass wall which overlooks a deck and the garden. The structural engineer was p&t Riddington and the contractor was Avon Construction Services.

Cost: £142,000


The owners of this terraced Victorian house in Cambridge commissioned 5th Studio to replace a leaking single-storey extension to the rear and provide a new link to the garden. The new space lies at the end of the ground floor plan, across the open-ended kitchen and library. The roof is half glazed and the wall to the garden is fully glazed. The room is treated as two halves: the kitchen side is top lit and has a translucent light let into the boundary wall. The library has a plastered soffit and a timber wall of planks from a single ash tree. The long thin plan is offset by the use of mirrored reveals to the screen which emphasise light and suggest potential space beyond the terrace. Michael Hadi Associates and Harris & Sutherland were the structural engineers; the contractor was Dench Construction.

Cost: £16,979


The project involved the creation of a new kitchen, playroom and bedroom for a family in Glasgow. The brief was to occupy a long strip of unused space between the gable of the house and the boundary wall. Across the boundary wall the architect introduced a sandstone wall with an oak frame. This defines it as a new element yet harmonises materially with the neighbourhood. There are no windows in the boundary wall. A timber glazed screen and rooflights provide views of the sky and the garden. The space, though long and deep, is flooded with natural light. Adams Partnership was the structural engineer and the contractor was J Derrick & Son.

Cost: £45,000


The philosophy adopted for the conversion of this barn in Glamorgan was to undertake sensitive repairs and restore the late nineteenth-century exterior, paying respectful attention to its setting while treating the interior in a much more contemporary style to reflect its new use as a dwelling. The roof was reslated, cast-iron guttering repaired, walls repointed and new windows (replicas of the originals) put in. To hint at the new interior, the original timber boarded doors were replaced with simple glass screens and a new porch added. The focal point internally is the polished stainless-steel and glass spiral staircase giving access to the first floor. Structural engineering was by Slowikowski, Blackshaw & Partners; the contractor was Complete Building Services.

Cost: £135,000


A former ballroom in a manor house in Gloucestershire has been remodelled to provide a bedchamber. Partitions introduced in the 1920s were removed, ceilings raised, protruding chimney breasts demolished and an original cornice replicated and replaced. East-facing windows in the sleeping area are hidden behind flush pivoting acid-etched glass screens. Accommodation pods, perpendicular to the main axis of the space, divide the different areas. They contain cupboards, a wc and shower and bookshelves; they also provide a vertical plane against which to place a cantilevered bed and other furniture. The existing envelope of the ballroom has been carefully restored. The structural engineer was FJ Samuely and Partners; the contractor was Pyments.

Cost: £80,000


The architect has just completed a single- storey extension to a family house in Clapham, south London. The curved monopitch roof arches away from the house to create an expanse of clerestory glazing. The curved ceiling is bathed in light and provides a dramatic counterpoise to the original Victorian architecture. The extension has a steel frame with a blockwork infill. The base is clad in Western red cedar boarding laid in strips between steel T sections. The double glazing has a clear silicone seal between panels. East-facing glazing is acid-etched. Jampel Davison Bell was the structural engineer, the contractor was Forde Construction.

Cost: £30,000


This modern villa at 33 Lanark Road, Edinburgh, was originally designed by J Roy McKee in 1961. CiAO has remodelled the landscaping and improved access, public rooms, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms; general remedial work included providing a new roof covering, rewiring and rationalising the services. The entrance is at half level through a double-height hall; CiAO has formed a new entrance to co-ordinate arrivals by car and on foot. The master bedroom and bathrooms were remodelled to modern standards. Horizontal and vertical planes are expressed with colour and materials - slate, marble, glass mosaics, glass bricks, maple - which flow through the spaces.

Cost: £95,000


A feeling for light and space and an intimate relationship with the garden were the objectives of this refurbishment of a four-storey early Victorian terraced house in Chelsea. The Grade II-listed property has been opened up and made practical. Dining room, kitchen and conservatory now link front and back, giving through views. A single sheet of reinforced glass forms both the balcony to the rear of the ground floor and roof to the conservatory; etching provides a non-slip surface echoing the dappled shade. The roof to the rear extension shower has been replaced by 'frameless' glass, giving the user the illusion of being in the open. Joinery was by David Lightfoot Design, the contractor was Petitt Brothers Contracting.

Cost: under £150,000


The client wanted to extend and transform an existing bungalow in Ide Hill on the North Downs and integrate it with his mature garden. rra radically altered the internal plan, moving the kitchen to the centre of the house, and putting on a new entry porch, a small pavilion of glass blocks, glazing and timber door with a metal roof. To the rear, rra opened the bungalow out to the garden by demolishing the existing east facade and replacing it with a wedge-shaped space enclosed by sliding glass doors under a mono-pitched roof; this forms a dining area and enlarges the living space. The timber living-room floor extends externally as a floating teak deck. Other alterations include a new living-room fireplace and an additional bathroom attached to the main bedroom. The structural engineer was Colin Toms and Partners.

Cost: £80,000


A second-floor flat in West London was converted into a duplex by the addition of a mansard-roofed top floor. The floors are linked by a central top-hung spiral staircase, thus limiting work to the existing second-level party floor. The shape of the staircase cylinder is echoed in the rooflight, providing maximum light to the living/kitchen space. The staircase is made of zinc electro-plated treads with black polyester powder-coated details. It is reflected by a floor-mounted toughened glass black circular mirror, increasing the feeling of vertical space. The maple flooring and white walls were accentuated by stainless steel and black accessories. Ing Ealtoir was the structural engineer and the contractor was Peter Slater Contracts.

Cost: £57,000


Architectural student James Henman built this house in Norfolk for his parents during his two years out before starting a diploma course at the Bartlett. The front of the building opens up to take advantage of the site and integrate the house with the garden. Elsewhere, clerestory windows bring natural light into other rooms. The house is steel frame on a 4.0 x 5.5m grid, allowing large bright internal spaces. Garage and workshop form a separate flat-roofed building. A limited palette of materials includes Western red cedar, glass, composite slates, birch ply and terracotta tiles. Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in a pit under the garage for use in wcs and washing machine. Henman and his father did most of the work. The structural engineer was D C Townend.

Cost: £80,000


The brief was for a single-storey extension to an existing terraced house in Hampstead, London. Accommodation comprises a single large room with windows on two aspects, accessed by a straight flight of stairs. The building is in a conservation area and planning restrictions were stringent. The extension replaced an existing butterfly roof and this shape informs the design of the new roof. The windows are continuously framed by a deep surround which frames views, focuses light and acts as a shelf. The large window to the back elevation is also integrated into the giant hopper-shaped form off the rear mansard. The 'hopper' collects water from the centrally drained roof and follows the profile of the former roof.

Cost: £45,000


Gareth Hoskins has designed a new apartment for architectural photographer David Churchill and his wife Philippa Vafadari in a first-floor shell in the Todd Building, a Victorian warehouse in Glasgow. The ceilings were too low to permit two full-height floors. Instead, the design exploits simple materials and construction to maximise the long south-facing range of windows. Bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and dark-room are banked along the back edge of the space and enclose the entrance. Standing within the living space are two full-height wall planes which define other areas: the dining space and spare room and an upper-level office and yoga room reached by a concealed staircase. The clients and friends did the building work.

Cost: £15,000


The architect carried out a minimalist conversion of a flat in an Edwardian house in West London. A storage wall, clad in bleached birch-ply panelling, was inserted between the two main living rooms. It contains double sets of secret doors which fold to the depth of the wall in different combinations: it also conceals a ladder to a converted attic above. Large full-height sliding birch-ply screens replace existing doorways to create drama, accentuating the high ceilings, and to connect circulation space to the main living areas. Bathroom and kitchen are treated as plug-in service areas, visually connected by their finishes: white diamond-pattern fully tiled walls and off-white rubber flooring.

Cost: approx £40,000


Architect Neil Choudhury has completed this conversion of a two-bedroom flat on the third floor of a 1960s building in central London. The existing flat was stripped out to create a panoramic view up and down Great Titchfield Street. The new layout draws on the 1960s spirit of the shell, exaggerating the horizontality of the existing strip windows in the design of new fittings, radiators and light shelves. The flooring is in inexpensive riven slate, cabinets are metallic sprayed mdf, the long bench is rough concrete and the kitchen counter rendered. Part of the budget was reserved for certain 'goodies' like the sliding frameless etched-glass screens to the bedrooms. The contractor was E James Builders.

Cost: including fitout £45,000


Utilising the back yard of its offices in Clapham, the Pike Practice has built a single-storey extension to form an open-plan studio apartment, designed around an open courtyard. The scheme comprises a spacious living/dining/kitchen area, linked by a generous corridor along the side of the courtyard to a bedroom and bathroom at the rear. All the walls facing on to the courtyard are of full-height glazing set in silver-grey aluminium framing. The glazed walls afford vistas across and through the whole space, creating a very open, spacious and airy apartment. Tim George was the structural engineer; Dennis Rooney & Associates the qs and bmc Building Services the contractor.

Cost: £90,000


This 30m2 extension to a house in south-east London provides a large family with a spacious dining and living area; the existing kitchen and laundry room have been completely refitted. The cantilevered corner with two large sliding doors unites the room with the terrace in summer. Small windows, at eye level when seated, frame views of the garden through internal angled reveals. A continuous rooflight at the junction of the roof with the existing house brings daylight and natural ventilation into the kitchen area. Externally, the black and white lines and oversailing eaves of the existing house have been echoed. The contractor was S J Grigg and the structural engineer was Trigram.

Cost: £75,000


The clients wanted an alternative to an off-the-peg conservatory to extend their semi-detached house in north London. ran Studio's solution is a simple lean-to with a 'book-end' rendered block wall. A structural glass roof comprises 3.8m-long glass beams supporting full-length 0.9m- wide low-E double-glazed panels. A 'gateway' arch frames views of the garden, demarcating the boundary between inside and outside. Artificial lighting allows a variety of night-time effects. Work also included rationalising the kitchen/breakfast area and a new terrace to integrate house and garden. The scheme provides 16m2 of additional floor space and transforms an underused north-facing area into an attractive garden room.

Cost: £27,000


The brief was to extend and modify the existing dining room and kitchen at the rear of this house in Wood Green, London, and create a light airy space. A dining-room extension has been placed laterally across the long narrow site, creating a new timber-decked courtyard, level with the main house and separate from the garden. The living room, kitchen and new dining room all look into the enclosed courtyard while full-height glazing in the dining room allows visual links from the house to the garden. The scheme provides privacy, energy efficiency, solar gain in winter and shade in summer.

Cost: £69,000


An extension to the back of a family house on Wandsworth Common, south London, replaces a poorly constructed Edwardian lean-to conservatory. The extension provides a new dining room and kitchen at raised ground- floor level and, through the use of the industrial pattern steel double glazing, both rooms have carefully framed views of the garden. A deck terrace is accessed off the kitchen and acts as an external 'dining room' with fitted table and seating; underneath there is space for storing bicycles and garden tools. The stair from the dining room leads out to the garden at half level, and down to a children's play area in the basement. Vincent Grant Partnership was the structural engineer, the contractor was Owen West Contractors.

Cost: £80,000.


The house at the end of an elegant listed terrace in Islington, north London, had been subdivided in the past to create a separate basement flat. The brief was to incorporate this area into the main house and provide additional guest accommodation and storage space for the client's wine collection. The opportunity was taken while installing the new stair to demolish an existing rear extension and build a new pavilion off the half landing level. It has full-height glazing with an oak-framed pivoting door: a look-out point over the garden which also contains a new wc and garden store. Sinclair Johnston & Partners was the structural engineer and the contractor was Harris Calnan Construction.

Cost: £85,000


A 'glass box' addition to the rear of an Edwardian terraced house in Fulham, west London, provides a small bright space where the owners can sit and read and enjoy the view of the garden. The language of the glazed extension contrasts with that of the Edwardian terrace. Dewhurst Macfarlane was the structural engineer and the contractor was Centrum Construction.

Cost: £19, 000


The scheme involved the conversion of two top-floor flats in a listed four-storey warehouse in Nottingham's Lace Market district. The lower two floors are used as a Unitarian Chapel and meeting hall. Listed building consent was granted for the removal of the top-floor ceiling, exposing the roof space and permitting the insertion of a gallery deck in the top flat which is open plan in character, whereas the lower flat is cellular. Both flats had south-facing cast-iron windows spanning the complete width of the main facade. Floors are in beech and walls are plastered; central heating was introduced with combination boilers. Price & Myers was the structural engineer.

Cost: £85,000


The living areas of this typical suburban house in Wimbledon, west London, faced onto what has become a busy main road, and had no connection with the rear garden; the ground floor was a jumble of small redundant rooms. The new owners wanted to create two new living spaces: a garden room and a studio. These have been formed by capturing the external space behind a glass edge which negotiates a new boundary through the garden. The roof elements are held away from the existing building by horizontal glazing, described only by reflections and the structural joints that secure it. Internally the kitchen has been moved to the centre of the plan. The structural engineer was Packman Lucas.

Cost: £80,000


This garden room extends a semi-detached Victorian house in Edinburgh's Grange area. The room links sitting room, kitchen and utility spaces and creates an entertaining space for both house and garden. The steel structure of the inclined roof plane spans between the existing kitchen annex, new masonry wall and single steel column, enabling the roof to be separated from the rear wall by a glazed box and leaving an uninterrupted opening to the garden. A screen of folding, sliding glazed doors fills this opening and allows a relationship to develop between the garden and existing lounge. The structural engineer was David Narro Associates.

Cost: £50,000

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