The stargazing house

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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As is often the case with growing families, for the family living in this detached Victorian home in Surbiton, lack of space was an issue. Rather than upping sticks and moving to a larger place, they decided to extend the property, enlisting Francesco Pierazzi Architects to take on the project. 

Two structures were added to the original building: a rear extension which houses a large family room that opens out to the kitchen, and a side extension with a new 'dining booth', WC and utility room. The result is both practical and stylish, and the design makes the most of the history of the property whilst giving it a fresh, modern identity. Let's take a closer look..

Exterior: Victorian meets modern

The exterior is a combination of traditional Victorian brickwork, and much more contemporary cedar cladding boards, left untreated to encourage the natural silvering process. The extension doesn't overshadow the original architecture, but has a distinctive look that distinguishes it from the main section of the property. 

Opening out to a small patio area and attractive lawn, the extension facilities the merging of indoors and out. The glass sliding doors allow for natural light to filter in to the family areas, creating a pleasant ambience as well as a greater sense of space. 

Side extension

To the side of the house is a long, thin volume, 1.15m wide. Believe it or not, this is where you will find the new utility room, WC and dining area! Access to these areas is via the original house or rear extension.

Fresh and modern kitchen

The kitchen, which is located in the former living room of the original house, is sleek and minimalist. The almost all-white colour scheme is offset only by the pop of red seen on the quirky bar stools and appliances. Clever storage solutions have been subtly integrated so that the line of sight is uninterrupted and the room retains a streamlined look. The rich tones of the timber floorboards balance out the icy white cabinets and walls, and add some warmth to the room.

A view to the garden

The Kitchen and the Living Room: modern Kitchen by Francesco Pierazzi Architects
Francesco Pierazzi Architects

The Kitchen and the Living Room

Francesco Pierazzi Architects

The living area is located in the rear extension, and it makes sense to see an interior that is equally as contemporary as the exterior. Like the kitchen, the living room is minimalist, with a few flourishes of bold colour to bring it to life. The sliding patio doors connect indoors and out, establishing a relationship with nature. At the back of the room, a pivoting door located at the boundary between the old and new parts of the home, provides a direct view out to the garden.

Simple but stylish

The interior of the extension is testament to the 'less is more' approach. A glittering chandelier style light shade draws our attention, without seeming over the top. This is thanks to the fact that there are very few items of furniture in the room, with the key approach seeming to be 'quality over quantity'.

Watching the stars

A frameless skylight is located at the junction of the old house and the modern extension. You will notice how the traditional exterior can be viewed from the new section of the home—a clever reminder of the history and character of the building. Not only that, but the skylight draws in the sun during the day, and captures the stars at night! This further enhances the connection with nature already established by the open design of the rear extension.

if you've enjoyed this project, take a look at the following ideabook: An unexpected timber extension.

Do you like the minimalist style of the kitchen and living areas? Leave a comment and let us know!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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