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 reasonably practical.
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 existing elevation.
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 considered whole.