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South London


The brief

To create something unique.

The project

Nick and Gareth’s existing ground floor included a shower room, utility, a kitchen and an underused leaking conservatory. With just a single back door and narrow set of steps up to the garden level, the garage dominated what was left of the garden, leaving the kitchen area rather dark and unloved. 

As a team we were interested in creating a lighter, more comfortable atmosphere. To do this we traced the silhouette of a house's form onto the familiar (comforting) brick extension. The resulting brick and glazed volume provides a bright light living space and restores the natural flow of the house to its (redesigned) garden. 

For the second phase loft conversion we dressed the projecting loft  windows in the same materials  as the extension and inserted a roof lantern over the stairwell, designed to draw a warm light back into the heart of the household.

The homeowner's words

Mark set to work and presented us with two scale models to choose from. This helped enormously, as we were not easily able to visualise the plans on paper. One model split the kitchen into two different design areas, the other, a slightly bolder vision was to create a large airy kitchen based on an A-frame shape. After a lot of playing with the models, we eventually decided on the A-frame. 

During the building phase Mark remained close to the process, making site visits to ensure that the building remained in line with the original vision. There were occasionally details that we changed, for example we reduced the size of the windows in the kitchen roof, once the roof was visible. This was all part of the iterative process needed to create a finished product. 

Since completion we have been very pleased with both the look and feel of the end product and also the reaction of friends, neighbours and passers-by who all seem to admire the end result. It feels like the garden (with the garage removed) has become part of the living space. We have had people knocking at the door enquiring about the design, as they have been so impressed. We often sit in the loft and watch the people looking across the street with admiring glances. 

We feel that with the help of Mark’s design, the house has become unique, but it also remains true to the original character.