The property, built in the early 1950s, is a detached house on the outskirts of Epsom and the clients, a retired couple, wanted to extend their Kitchen and enlarge a former Conservatory that had been obtained by enclosing a former loggia.
The absence of a clear connection with the lush vegetation of the back garden creates an opportunity to centre the design around the introduction of a new relationship between interior space and exterior landscape. The back extension becomes the architectural buffer between artifice and nature, so that the two can be harmoniously connected.
To avoid an elongated frontage, the differing interior ceiling heights – lower in the Kitchen, higher in the Sun Room – are expressed in the arrangement of the façade to facilitate its modulation. A bas-relief effect is introduced by using windows that project off the render finish.
The overhanging roof creates shade and extends the building into the landscape. Benches attached to the architecture – that the client, a keen gardener, could colonize with pots and flower arrangements – further enhance this connection.
Glazed double doors are inserted between the formal reception room, at the front of the house, and the enlarged Kitchen, at the back, so that the garden can be appreciated through the large expanse of glass.
The programme of this extension is organized into two distinctive structures: the larger and higher volume is placed at the back of the house to face the garden while a longer and thinner volume stands to the western side, thus generating a hierarchy of served and servant volumes.
The clients’ brief is interpreted as an opportunity to refine the appearance of the existing volumes overlooking the patio and devise a new external family room, framed by red cedar clap boards, laid to suggest a chevron floor pattern.