This double extension and refurbishment of a Grade II* Listed Regency townhouse was an exciting blend of traditional and modern for Blake Architects. Our team relished the opportunity to use curved design in both stonework and glass to create a unique look for an historic home fit for modern living.
The terraced house was habitable when purchased by our client in 2019, but had fundamental defects including a leaking roof, eroded stone work and rotten timbers. The house historically had been split into apartments and one remnant of this was an ugly steel fire escape that dominated the rear elevation. Another was the loss of the original layout and detail.
Since our client had previously lived in a large rural dwelling, a key concept was to maximise the enjoyment of the small rear garden and encourage as much sunlight as possible into the overall space. To do this, the preceding side extension and the steel fire escape stairs were stripped out and the garden lowered to the level of the lower ground floor. Blake Architects then created a glass extension with a curved glass wall that makes the interior and exterior spaces ambiguous. The counterpoint to this was a visually heavier second curved extension constructed of masonry to reflect the tradition of curved bay windows in the Regency period.
The sleek and graceful glass extension has glass beams rather than simpler steel or timber beams, with glass to glass junctions to maximise natural daylight and create a calm and light space in which to dwell. The light pours into the depth of house where the new open plan kitchen and living space flow seamlessly into the garden, whilst the two storey masonry rounded extension provides valuable additional bedroom space.
The restoration of the Regency heritage required detailed drawings for joinery and ornate plaster cornices, which were developed from measured studies in adjacent houses to ensure the correct detail was adhered to and reinstated in the period reception rooms. Blake Architects' experience and knowledge of conservation led to successful discussions with the Conservation Officer and the necessary consents for the reinstatement of walls, doors and the new extensions. Our expertise allowed us to strike the right balance between conservation, demolition and new insertions; we respect the historic fabric of the building and understand the delicacy of contemporary evolutions that suit modern-day life.
The whole house was renovated and decorated with new floors and services updated as necessary. The success of the stone repairs should, in large part, be credited to the craftsmanship of the Cranatt construction team, whose patience and attention to detail did not waver even in the midst of pandemic. The interior design was by the client, Rachel Eaton, who struck the perfect balance of contemporary style and comfort in a historic home.
Blake were Architects and Contract Administrators for the whole for all stages of the project.