Bath-based Designscape Architects’ house extension in Somerset was shortlisted for a RIBA Regional Award last month
Part of an overall renovation of the Victoria house, the addition contains a family room and is connected to both the existing kitchen and to the converted basement by a new staircase.
The structure is constructed from two cantilevered steel beams that allow the full-height glazing, including a fixed glass-to-glass corner, to open onto the house’s garden.
The building is clad in lead, in preformed panels on elevation and rolled sheet on the roof, with bath stone pier placed on the south facade as a nod to the principle elevation of the existing house.
Mark Wray, project architect, Designscape Architects
The client’s initial brief was for a new conservatory leading off the kitchen to provide access to the private area of the garden as well as converting the unused basement areas into habitable relaxed family spaces.
In order to maintain open connections between kitchen, garden and basement, and to improve the environmental and functionality of the space, we proposed a garden room which would unite the two aspects of the brief by reconfiguring and incorporating the existing external basement access within the new extension.
The design answers the client’s call to open up the house by maximizing the aspect across the garden and surrounding fields, achieved by utilizing two cantilevered steel beams that allow the sliding glazed panels to open in wide, diverse configurations to blur the boundary between building and landscape
The success of the project is the way it challenges the formality and solidity of the existing Victorian lodge and provides casual connections between the informal everyday spaces that the family use most.