Top 10—Most Audacious UK Home Extensions

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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When it comes to home extensions we think there are two schools of thought: you either see them as a handy way to add extra space to a building or you don't like them because they detract from the original house. 

Thankfully, there are some talented design teams out there that are determined to make home extensions not only valuable but also aesthetically glorious additions to homes around the country.

Come with us as we take a look at our Top 10 extensions in the UK, which have dared to go beyond a standard conservatory and embraced a whole new chapter of home design!

10. Barnes

Barnes, London: Culmax Glass Box Extension: modern Conservatory by Maxlight
Maxlight

Barnes, London: Culmax Glass Box Extension

Maxlight

Culmax, the design team responsible for this absolutely extraordinary piece of work, describe it as, Modern and minimalist; increases indoor footprint without feeling like you have lost garden space.

Quite aside from the fact that this large glass box has been added to a heritage home with a brazen and brave disregard for surrounding styling, this extension looks magnificent! Adding a wealth of extra space, it simply belongs because it has the authority to.

What a perfect way to start our Top 10 extensions list!

9. Clifton

Extension to Grade II* listed building in Clifton: modern Houses by Dittrich Hudson Vasetti Architects
Dittrich Hudson Vasetti Architects

Extension to Grade II* listed building in Clifton

Dittrich Hudson Vasetti Architects

When attempting to extend a listed building, the odds are a little stacked against you but, happily, this underground addition has been well received. Far more than a little Hobbit hole, we love the green roof and subtle projection into the garden. What a space!

The design team says, ’The extension to this beautiful family home has been designed by DHV Architects as a very transparent and visually lightweight structure to minimise the impact on the listed building which forms part of a very important early Nineteenth Century Georgian terrace in Clifton. Large steel sliding doors and a large roof light slot allow plenty of light into the new dining room.’

8. Forest View

’This complex rear extension, with a ground-floor ‘garden room’ and two new bedroom suites; inclusive of the enlarged master bedroom, is highly innovative while appearing simple and chic.’

We can't argue with that statement at all, as we really do see a chic, beautiful and visually powerful extension here but it has been so well designed that it almost seems to melt into the background and just 'belong' to the original property. There is no getting away from the size and stature of this build, but it manages to look proportional and elegant.

7. Victorian House Addition

This ’Glazed extension on a Victorian double-fronted detached house’, is a master class in how to add valuable extra room to your home without overshadowing the original heritage architecture.

Though clearly a very contemporary add on, we think the use of glass has really helped to camouflage the extra space and has helped it to immediately blend into the surroundings. Even better is the fact that no garden had to be sacrificed to create this superb addition!

6. Muswell Hill

FAMILY HOUSE Extension:  Windows  by Caseyfierro Architects
Caseyfierro Architects

FAMILY HOUSE Extension

Caseyfierro Architects

’Located in North London, the brief was to extend the ground floor of the existing house to accommodate a separate living area for the eldest son and to expand the dining room. The existing garage was removed and a new separate access entrance was established. The design took into consideration the varying ground levels in the garden and one of the  main focus of the  design was in how to bring the garden into the house and create a strong connection.’

You can't deny that there is a strong connection between house and garden here, as this super glass box seems to stretch out into the wide open space and creates a little patio area directly in front of the doors. What a great addition to our Top 10 extensions list!

5. Edinburgh Villa

Dick Place - garden: modern Kitchen by ZONE Architects
ZONE Architects

Dick Place—garden

ZONE Architects

’Like many houses in Edinburgh, this detached villa had been built with poor access to the garden and with a gloomy kitchen to one side of the building. The new extension provides a large kitchen and dining area with direct access to the garden. A new ‘back’ door at the front of the house gives easy access through a glass slot between the nineteenth century villa and the garage/utility room, rebuilt in sandstone.’

Can you imagine how wonderful it must have been for the residents here to walk through into a bright, airy and spacious new kitchen extension? We love that there has been little attempt made to really seamlessly connect the two facets of the building together, but that's what makes it work so well. Each entity is its own but together they blend to make a wonderfully usable and enjoyable home.

4. Hunsett Mill

Hunsett Mill: minimalistic Houses by ACME
ACME

Hunsett Mill

ACME

You might think these are two separate houses but in fact you are looking at, ’An extension to a 19th century mill keeper’s house in the Broads. The house is adjacent to the well-known historic grade 2 listed Hunsett Mill. The house was the residence for the keeper of the mill until 1900, when electricity made wind-powered pumps redundant. In order for the new extension to retreat behind the listed setting of the Mill, the new additions to the house are designed as shadows of the existing house. The structure of the extension is made entirely from solid laminated wood, which is exposed in the interior and clad in charred cedar boards externally. Ground source heat pumps, passive solar heating and independent water well supply will make the house almost fully self-sufficient.’

We always like to try and bring something a little bit different to the table so how fabulous that in this case the new extension has become the main body of the house! 

3. Alwyne Place

A Brick and a Half house: minimalistic Houses by Lipton Plant Architects
Lipton Plant Architects

A Brick and a Half house

Lipton Plant Architects

Though you can't see all of the amazing details form here, we think you'll still be suitably impressed by this build and understand why we have included it in our Top 10 extensions list. 

Taking a traditional townhouse, the design team have added a full width extension, complete with a first floor addition. The use of chunky brickwork and delicate glass is a wonderful contrast and grounds this addition with a little seriousness that the foreboding original façade seems to encourage.

2. Timber Fin House

Rear elevation showing timber extension: modern Houses by Neil Dusheiko Architects
Neil Dusheiko Architects

Rear elevation showing timber extension

Neil Dusheiko Architects

Well, we did say we wanted to show you some truly amazing and audacious extension designs and we think this is a great example of what we are talking about!

The design team in charge of the build describe this as an, ’Extension for a turn of the century family home in Walthamstow. The playful design creates a much needed flexible living space and extra bedroom for the young family. The shape of the extension is designed to track the sun and create a positive space in the garden. The new structure is framed in oak and clad in Siberian Larch. The differentiation of materials allows it to be read as a separate volume rather than mimic the brick character of the existing building.’

The outright refusal to try to blend this addition into the original brick house is inspiring!

1. Winchmore Hill

Winchmore Hill, London:  Windows  by Maxlight
Maxlight

Winchmore Hill, London

Maxlight

What a delightful extension to end our Top 10 extensions list with! While it might not be the biggest in the list, it certainly has a power and beauty all of its own and we love the complexity of the contrasting materials at play here.

Glass, chunky black metal and delicate striated wood all combine to make a welcoming and cosy living space that doesn't look to have encroached into the garden too much. Those geometric shapes are something else too!

For more extension inspiration take a look at this Ideabook: A Bespoke British Barn Extension. Country dwellings can embrace a little upsizing too!

Which of these extensions was your favourite? Would you consider something similar for your home? Share your thoughts with us...
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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