The brief received for House 135 was to design a contemporary extension to a traditional Victorian house, which would require the internal spaces at the rear of the house to become more connected to the external garden, and a reformulation of the ground floor and basement was desired to make the spaces more connected and enjoyable.
The solution was to remove the solid brick rear and side walls up to the first floor level, whilst retaining the ground floor plane itself and introducing a slender structural column. The remaining exposed part of the house has been wrapped in a contrasting, contemporary facade to form a new double height circulation space which joins the ground floor to the study below. This design decision enabled an isolated and dark basement to be transformed into an open, functional space, flooded with natural light. The higher external ground level continues inside to form the landing to the stairs, which in turn extends under the staircase to form a work desk. The basement floor plane seamlessly extends out to the exterior of the house, and creates a sunken patio platform with sheltered seating and a barbeque area.
The kitchen appears to float above the opened basement, while still occupying the same footprint as it had previously done so, however the space feels more exaggerated and dramatic as it is exposed to the views out to the garden and beyond. The addition of a strategically placed breakfast bar enables the drama of the double height space and views to be experienced on a daily basis. The kitchen floor plan extends beyond, housing an adjoining dining area and lounge.
The finished design is a daring interaction of renewal and transformation, where the glass facade provides a contemporary threshold that provides heightened intensity between the new and old.