Prime Architecture was asked to design a ground floor extension and loft conversion for a Victorian terraced property (built in 1886) in the South Park Garden area of Wimbledon, London SW19. By doing so we increased the internal floor-space by 60%, to provide internal accommodation measuring 1200sq.ft
Our design intention was to respect the characteristics of the original Victorian house, whilst updating the property to provide contemporary open plan living space, more fitting of modern living. In this regard, the exiting living room at the front of property was retained and made separate to the newly created living and dining area located in the new extension to the rear of the house. A common challenge when adding to a Victorian house is the material choice for the façade of the new extension form. It is very challenging to source London ‘stock bricks’ that match the existing brickwork of the house, given the age and weathering of the building life. We decided to source the bricks for our extension from one of the chimney breasts in the house. This meant we could use bricks of the same age, which intriguingly gave us the occasional ‘blackened brick’ which got its colour from use in the fireplace. Another issue with Victorian houses floor is that the floor-to-ceiling height is low at the rear of the property. We overcame this by reducing the ground level in the newly created large open plan living room to the rear by 600mm. This ‘stepped’ design further differentiated the open plan modern space, from the more traditional front living room of the property. Large sliding doors were installed, and additional flat rooflights to the extension to further bring in natural daylight to the property. Elsewhere, underfloor heating was installed throughout, along with new insulation and high performing energy efficient appliances and lighting. Bathrooms were clad in marble and with water saving showers and baths to further increase the projects eco credentials.