We were approached by our clients, a young couple who were looking to update a period property in Canonbury to reflect their modern lifestyle. The original house was a compact unit with a traditional conservatory with an awkward internal layout. This meant that the areas where the family spent the most time were dark and disconnected from the garden. The homeowners were also keen to use the renovation as an opportunity to update all the bedrooms and bathrooms of the house.
The brief called for a total rethink of the traditional idea of a conservatory. It was crucial to look for a fresh approach to a glazed extension while still retaining the positive aspects offered by this conventional type of addition. This presented a challenge given the property’s setting in a conservation area.
The main aim of the proposal was to reorganise the social spaces of the house, opening the “day spaces” to the garden and sunlight and placing the “cosy evening spaces” in the darker parts of the house. The simple action of moving the main family gathering area (the kitchen and dining spaces) towards the rear of the house, immediately produced a light and airy space connected to the garden.
To contain these activities a new bespoke “conservatory” was built to replace the existing one. Designed to capture light and connect to the garden, the glass extension is framed with a series of stepped structural frames at different heights. This device also helps define distinctive areas both internally and externally, adjusting to the particular needs of the family.
Photography: Matt Clayton