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Herne Hill Extension

The brief for this project was to replace an ageing, poorly insulated conservatory on the rear of an Edwardian semi. The conservatory was too cold in winter, too hot in summer, and blocked daylight from the main living room, onto which it was attached.

Its replacement seeks to solve all of these issues – well insulated with triple glazed sliding windows, it reconnects the interior of the original house to the garden by sitting as a kind of pavillion between the two.

Where it meets the main house there is a full length strip of rooflight glazing. This, combined with a lowering of the extension’s roof height at this end, lets a generous amount of daylight back into the main living room.

Although it can function as a living or dining area, the new space has been designed such that it can be used some of the time as a small, informal art gallery. Its mainly north facing aspect along with a canopy that shades the interior from direct sunlight make it well suited for this.

Although the walls and roof contain a substantial thickness of insulation, efforts were made, through careful detailing, to make sure that this bulk is largely disguised, allowing the extension to sit lightly when viewed from the garden, as well as from inside the house.

Constructed on a relatively modest budget, simple finishes were chosen. The exposed ceiling joists are standard construction timber, painted white, and the structural steelwork is left exposed. The interior relies on carefully thought-through detailing to succeed, as many of the construction connections are on display.

This project was featured in Open House London 2018 and 2019.