Open Plan living.  Woodlands Road.

Kitchen extension to Edwardian property.

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This was a self-build project, managed on the site by the client who also carried out much of the building work to a high standard. We worked closely with the client to provide a warm, well-lit and modern extension in keeping with the original house.

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Client brief:  Identifying the issues

The property consists of a large stone built 2 storey house.  Carvell Associates were asked to provide a new kitchen extension and downstairs WC and utility room, replacing the original Edwardian kitchen (typically located at the rear of the house, often on the Northern elevation in such buildings).

The existing kitchen served as the only link to the garden space, via a single external door. The earlier extensions (either side of the kitchen) contributed to the poor levels of daylighting; the original two-storey extension and smaller lean-to extension were demolished as part of the works.

The brief was to extend into the small rear garden to provide a well-lit open plan Kitchen and Dining space on one level, linking the house with the outside. The extension replaced a series of smaller interconnecting rooms, originally designed to be ancillary to the main house.

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Connecting to the garden.

The proposed extension remodelled the original kitchens and stores to the rear of the property by removing the entire rear corner of the house and extending into the garden. The original range and chimney breast is located in the North facing wall of the original kitchen, so creating the large opening into the extension required careful consideration.  The removal of the rear wall was limited as the kitchen range had to be retained for structural reasons.

Innovation & problem-solving.

To maximise the opening through to the garden room we removed the corner of the original house at Ground level. Removing the corner of any large building requires careful consideration; we worked closely with the client and engineers to provide the most straightforward option, using 3D modelling to communicate the design.

The solution was to provide a T-shaped steel arrangement in plan, avoiding the requirement for a column below the corner of the original house.  The main steel beam not only had to carry the original corner of the house but the new en suite extension above.

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Daylighting.

The existing North facing kitchen was dark and colder than the rest of the house.  The creation of a well-insulated box around the perimeter of the new kitchen markedly improved thermal performance, providing a well-used dining area that doubles up as a family room.

Given the tendency for the kitchen to be poorly lit we looked to provide openings on 3 sides to maximise daylight.  The extension was build close to the boundary wall adjacent to the neighbour’s property with access path maintained.  There was no benefit in providing windows looking onto a high boundary fence, so the wrap-around roof was used as a device for bringing natural daylight to the internal spaces.  Given the large footprint and site constraints this was a key priority.

The additional glazing in the new extension exceeded the permissible area for glazed elements, requiring the submission a calculation to satisfy the requirements of Part L1b.  The calculation passed without the need to update the specification.

Site Levels and headroom.

The original kitchen was located on a slightly lower level to the main house.  Unusually for properties of this period the kitchen floor comprised a suspended timber floor, with both extensions (1960’s additions) having solid concrete floors, with level changes in every room.  By raising the suspended floor to match the original house level we were able to design out awkward level changes in the new open plan area with a single step down into the utility.

Raising the floor to address changes in level, imposing restrictions on the available headroom in the extension.   The resulting roof had to be shallow pitch; the fascia detail needed careful consideration given limited space available.  Careful detailing was required to ensure a working fascia detail over a large bi-fold door opening (requiring deep steel beams).

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