Southwell road


  • Roofing & re-roofing
  • Single storey extension

The house was one half of a Victorian stuccoed villa at the end of a row of four similar villas halfway along the southside of Southwell road. The site is also bordered to the West by a collection of unusual late Victorian commercial buildings. The buildings of Clockwork Studios are built right up to the site boundary with the house and the boundary wall varied in height from 3.5 metres to 8 metres along its length. This created a heavily overshadowed and unattractive external space to the side of the house approximately 2 meters in width.

The existing building, though elegant in appearance from the street, was in a very poor state of repair, with damp problems and a leaking structurally unsound roof. The existing rooms were quite small with very low ceiling heights in some areas. The hallway and landings were narrow and lacked natural light. The property also suffered from the classic defect of the Victorian house in that it had no physical or visual connection to the large rear garden, which was bounded by ancillary spaces with small or no windows -the kitchen and bathroom -which were housed in crude lean-to structures: the bathroom only accessible through the garden .There was also a brick built garden shed in the side passage.

The house in its current state and layout was not a practical family dwelling .The aim of our proposal was to refurbish and enlarge the building to make it a viable and contemporary home, re orientated to relate better to the rear garden area .The best features of the original house were preserved and contrasted with a contemporary treatment to the new elements .There was no significant alteration in the appearance from the street.

The main change was at the rear and the side. The existing lean to structures were demolished and replaced with a new single story rendered masonry extension projecting no further out into the garden than the demolished building (3.9 metres). This was significantly less than the rear extension of the adjacent house which extends approximately 5 metres into its garden .
Internally the new rear space was amalgamated with an existing room to form a combined kitchen, dining and living space with large hardwood windows and sliding folding doors onto the garden .This layout allowed the rear garden to become an integrated element of the home highly visible all year round and an extension of the living space in the warmer months .The new window was subdivided by means of timber ventilation panels to provide a more vertical emphasis echoing the fenestration of the original house.

It was also proposed to extend to the site boundary with Clockwork studios, infilling the dark side passage. The side additions extended the living and kitchen spaces and contained a Utility room and a Shower room. The new construction was a maximum 3 metres in height from main lowest part of the rear garden although an existing change of level made the perceived height actually 2.6 metres from the main part of the garden.

The flat roof is overlooked by the first-floor rear bedroom, as well as from the adjacent artists’ studios. For this reason, it was proposed to plant the roof in Sedum: an Alpine drought tolerant succulent plant which provides a carpet of greenery with flowers throughout the spring and summer. The roof was also punctuated on the side extension with patent glazing and roof lights to provide ample natural illumination to the kitchen and ancillary spaces.

To address the problem of the dark hallway, it was proposed to replace the existing solid roof of the hallway with a glazed one tucked neatly behind the entablature above the entrance door .This allowed daylight to penetrate into the stairwell area where there was currently very little daylight .The side extension projects at the front to the same line as the pre-existing dilapidated timber side gate and was clad in dark stained timber so as not to detract from the existing composition of the front elevation and to a height less than the prior gate.

The middle ground floor room was also enlarged at the rear, projecting 1.1 metres into the garden. This connected to and replicated in volume a similar extension nearby .

It was proposed to remove the chimney breasts in some rooms. In these cases, the existing chimney stacks were retained and supported within the roof space.

The existing roof had been re-clad at some point with concrete tiles. These were too heavy for the roof structure and caused the hips to sag. These were replaced with Rivendale fibre cement slates which replicated the original slate appearance.