Blackheath House: modern Houses by APE Architecture & Design Ltd.

The estate's most surprising home

Rob Fox—homify Rob Fox—homify
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From the 1940s until the 1980s, architect Eric Lyons and developer Geoffrey Townsend built 'Span' estates throughout the UK. Through their company Span Developments Limited, these estates were designed to span the void between the tedium of suburbia and high class architecturally designed residences. Span homes were instant design classics, evoking all that is possible during a postwar era. Attention to detail was superb, designs were interesting and the resulting estates became exemplars in what is possible for low cost estate housing. 

Designed with community in mind, Span estates are often well landscaped and foster a connection with the surrounding environment. Homes are light and bright with well-formed floor plans and offer geometric, modern designs.

Over the last decade or so, Span estate homes have become increasingly popular, even achieving cult status among artists and architects. With many homes featuring their original fixtures, such as doors, parquet floors, handles, kitchens and bathrooms, these modernist residences are now extremely sought after.

Today on homify we're taking a look at a Span house located in Blackheath. As alterations to Span properties are monitored by the estate’s advisers, it can often be difficult to adjust or alter the property. With the help of APE Architecture & Design, the owners of this dwelling were able to subtly extend their home without changing the visual originality of the structure.

Check out the images below to take a look at this considerate and stylish home renovation

Entering the Span estate

Upon entering the driveway we are able to see the Span home with its new conservation roof lights. 

To ensure the continuity of the original design, the loft conversion was designed and undertaken sympathetically, with minimal changes to the external structure.

Front elevation

As the owners loved their existing home, they were reticent to relocate to a new, larger property. Thanks to the team at APE, a new loft conversion has provided the much needed room for an extra bedroom and study.

One of the few downsides to owning a Span house is that the dwelling is ruled by a residents’ association. As the owners of this property were only a shareholder in the estate, they were unable to change the exterior appearance of the house.

Going up…

The new staircase provides a comfortable way to ascend to the new loft bedroom and study. The colour scheme that has been chosen is very in keeping with the existing home, working wonderfully to act in a recessive and stylish way.

The stairs have been carpeted in a grey hue to contrast the walls and keep the space low-maintenance.

The new workspace

As we enter the upstairs space we first take a look at the new study space. This built-in desk works fantastically to create a functional and rather large home study, without imposing on the bedroom space. 

Timber veneer is used for the walls, which hide a wardrobe for clothes and home miscellany.

Loft bedroom

The new bedroom, seen from the top of the staircase, is a brilliantly simple yet comfortable design. The grey carpet is continued throughout, providing a warmth within the space, and looks lovely against the white walls. 

Timber tones are utilised, evoking the history and heritage of the home. To provide lighting to the space, hidden LED lights can be seen on the ceiling above the bed.

Hidden attic storage

Smart joinery has been employed to make the most of every inch of space. Here we take a look at the LED lit bookshelves that are hinged to allow the occupant to pull them out and store items in the space behind.

As Span homes were built during the 1940s to 1980s, they often have limited storage space for modern family living. This new extension rectified that with minimal impact on the original design.

Abundant natural light

The new loft space is serviced by three new roof lights that can be opened up to let in a cool breeze, as well as maximum natural light. These conservation sky lights are only able to be seen on the rear elevation, ensuring the front façade remains original.

To explore another wonderful British property, visit: The unexpectedly sublime home.

Span estates: love them or loathe them? Let us know!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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