The project is a refurbishment and extension in the
conservation area of Portobello. The existing building
was originally converted from a small coach house in
the mid 1980’s to form a one bedroom dwelling.
Our project sought to save this deteriorating property
and sympathetically extend it to secure its future as
a desirable family home for generations to come.
Respecting the character of the building was a priority
and we aimed to minimise alterations to the principal
elevation by retaining as much of the existing massing
and working with existing openings as much as was
Ground floor levels and the limitations that would be
placed on the internal layout prohibited the use of the
existing garage door as a new entrance so we reinstated
the original opening on south west elevation to create
a new front door. This move substantiated the existing
building as the dominant element and rationalised the
internal hierarchy. Principal rooms are accessed from
this central hallway, and allow the building to work
efficiently in plan and section, making the most of the
narrow and low existing building.
Materiality was also a key consideration, and we
wanted to retain as much brickwork in the new design
as possible. We carefully demolished and rebuilt the
south east wall to ensure its structural integrity and
physically tie it into the new extension.
We chose timber cladding to distinguish new elements
whilst paying reference to the original stable doors
which would have formed a large portion of the
The decision to char the timber was functional to
increase the longevity of the larch, but it also loosely
reflects historical use of the site by a coal merchant.
Subtle insertions of matching timber within the
existing elevation further harmonises the new and the
old and contributes to the building being read as a
January 21, 2019