So a disclaimer here right off the bat, we’re a London centric practice, so as followers of the blog may have noticed, I frequently cover issues that relate to residential design specific to the London context. Of course this is probably no surprise as London is where we’re based. And being a small practice, a lot of our projects involve alterations and extensions to properties that are often within close proximity to other neighbouring buildings. So we’re adept at designing around issues that this brings up such as overlooking. So if you’re planning to build along a shared boundary for your single storey or double storey extension, here are the key things to bear in mind for your project.
What are the rules on extensions to houses and are there limits to how far you can extend your home? Yes, there certainly are, but it really depends on the application that your proposal is submitted under. So I thought I would briefly explain the limits under each application relevant to existing homes and the value in having a clear planning strategy that is right for your project.
We recently received planning permission for a side return extension and a loft conversion in Greenwich. Nothing really extraordinary about this as we regularly gain planning permission for this type of project across London.
What was different however, was our planning strategy. Read more
“The Japanese House Reinvented” by Philip Jodidio is the latest addition to our library of design books. It was the only book about self build homes on small urban plots that enticed me at the end of my visit to “The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945” exhibition at the Barbican. A must-see exhibition if self build homes or housing in general is of interest. On my initial flick through, I thought the book had struck a good balance between beautiful architectural photography, plans and sections as well as text to explain the features a camera cannot reach. Too many architecture & design books include stunning photography but lack drawings or text to explain what is really going on beyond the one or two shots. All the houses included in the book have been designed by renowned Japanese architects and there is a theme of experimentation and inventiveness, especially in the projects built either in Tokyo or other dense urban cities in Japan. I wondered whether there were lessons to learn from how Japanese architects and their clients have optimised self build homes on small urban plots often acquired at a premium.
A glass box extension is the ideal design solution for creating a space that connects with the exterior whilst providing the thermal comfort of an interior. A client approached us to design a glass box extension for a side return that is surrounded on three sides by brick walls. A small kitchen diner currently opens into the area through French doors and the side return serves merely as thoroughfare to the garden. The size of the space and the nature of its surroundings was suited to a glass box extension, but the budgetary constraints meant that other options needed to be explored. Here are some of the points that have come up during our design explorations with the client. Read more
Renovating a home in 2017 is no longer limited to improving the spatial flow, the installation of double glazing nor the fitting of on trend finishes, technology is opening up a realm of possibilities for what a delightful yet energy efficient home could be. Combining both hardware and software, I will share with you some of the methods that we have used to make recent projects more efficient in their energy consumption.