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Can a modest extension transform a house?

This carefully considered timber glass house not only replaces a dilapidated orangery but also opens up new possibilities for it’s residents by creating a continuous loop of new and refurbished spaces.

We were asked to consider how to further improve a large family house in Birmingham, UK.  The Edwardian house was extended 15 years ago creating a large open plan space with views to the garden. However, since then an existing orangery had fallen into disrepair and required replacing.  Rather than introduce more space into an already large home we looked to the existing layout for clues how to make improve the functionality of the entire house.

The new ground floor layout increases the connectivity and functionality of the spaces by creating a loop of functions including a study, cloakroom, intimate seating areas and a new glasshouse.  To achieve this an existing oversized store room was subdivided to form a more efficient coat hanging space and separate bay window seating area.  A new opening in an existing wall creates a route into a new timber framed glasshouse while also making a better connection to the kitchen and living area.  Each space is signified by changes in material, scale, character and view.

We worked closely and collaboratively with the contractor Bistas Construction and their joiner Woodskill to develop the design of the Glass house from tender to construction.  The timber frame was formed from engineered European redwood, which was treated offsite and prefabricated in sections.  The frame is double glazed using a thermally efficient system manufactured in Germany.  Due to careful site management the project was built in under 6 weeks
causing minimal disruption to the residents.

Vernon Road Glass House
Location: Birmingham, UK
Type: Residential, Refurbishment
Size: 25m2
Client: Private
Date: 2016 - 2018
Architect: [Y/N] Studio
Project Team: Alex Smith, Maegan Icke

Main Contractor:  Bistas Construction
Structural Engineer: Bistas Construction
Timber Frame: Woodskill
Doors: Woodskill
Concrete power floated floor:  Proman Con
Glazing System: Stabalux
Metal work: Villamead Ltd / Bistas.
Electrics: RER Smith
Plumbing: GD Plumbing