Room to Grow

Adding a whole new dimension to family living.

Brendon Lodge is a 1980s house, situated amongst other residences, close to the town of Marlow. The original house, whilst practical and wonderfully convenient, was not working for our clients and their busy family lives.

Our client’s brief, to Napier Clarke Architects, was to introduce a series of contemporary, sustainable interventions which would lift the spirit of the house as well as provide more living space. The response was a cleverly designed ground floor rear extension, which increased the ground floor square meterage, whilst improving its functionality and flow.

With asymmetric dimensions, carefully specified build materials and an exposed structural form, the new space brings both sculptural interest and a captivating aesthetic.

“The form of the roof was influenced by the need to create taller ceilings than the existing, transitioning from old to new without a step at the interface," says Steven Clarke of Napier Clarke Architects. "It rises to a point on one side to give privacy from the neighbours and then drops on the other to reduce window size and solar gain. The result is a simple but elegant exposed structure, which, we hope, lifts both the spirit and roofline!”

With space and light prioritised in their design objectives, Napier Clarke incorporated a sliding glazed corner across two faces of the extension, bringing the outside in. A bespoke structural goal post frame, designed and installed within the cavity wall construction, offers a cantilevered, fully openable glazed entrance, looking out to the rear terraced garden. Exposed timber rafters, soffit and supports were hand-cut and installed, tying the glazing in with the feature ceiling and cabinetry.

Structural engineers Centrespace Design took up the mantle of transforming the architectural designs into a calculated build form. The central diagonal beam, which runs from the highest to the lowest points of the new section, is 8.2 metres long. “The challenge was to find a way to support the roofline, set at two different pitches, without any intermediate posts,” says Project Engineer Josh Williams. “The solution was to sandwich a steel plate between two slimmer Douglas fir beams, fulfilling the required load-bearing capacity without creating a bulky aesthetic.”

Although compact in scale, the build project was certainly challenging in structure. Having positioned the main beam, a concealed timber connection system from Rothoblass was used to uniformly fix the individually cut diagonal crossbeams. The wider project team was unilaterally delighted with the end result, fulfilling the design requirement for clean lines as well as the structural demands of the build.

Inside, the Scandi style cabinetry was manufactured by our Barr Group site carpenters. Flat-fronted cabinets made from high-grade ply, faced with Douglas fir, exhibit integrated pull handles, routed into the opening edge of each door. The cabinetry is finished in Osmo white oil – bringing out the grain of the timber and protecting it from the high traffic of busy family life!

A corner study area was created, with made-to-measure drawer and filing units sitting beneath polished tops. The shelving, made from double-thickness boards, was designed with integrated LED channels, which light the desk space below.

With the reimagining of the Brendon Lodge ground floor successfully realised, we thank our clients for allowing us to share their story, and our design collaborators for trusting us to bring their vision to life.