Cambridge Garden House, Cambridgeshire Architecture, English Building News, Images

Garden House in Cambridge

30 Mar 2021

Cambridge Garden House

Architects: Cairn

Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK

Cambridge Garden House

Sensitively crafted extensions and renovation of the detached Cambridge Garden House in a Cambridge Conservation Area.

Cambridge Garden House

The new extension allows the ground floor to feel connected to the garden, while still complimenting the solid brick construction of the original building. Curved brick piers create rhythm and relief and form deep protective window reveals. Between the piers, the family rooms are open to new patio and wonderful garden.

Cambridge Garden House

Internally, the ground floor is planned as an interconnected collection of rooms linked with windows and glass doors. The changes fill the house with natural light and help the family to feel they are together, even when in different rooms.

Cambridge Garden House

What were the key challenges?
Permission to build in conservation area.
How to make an extension that felt contemporary and open to garden, but also complimented original house and felt solid and robust.
Make sure back of existing living room didn’t become too dark.
Make sure family stay connected to each other, even if in different rooms.

Cambridge Garden House

What was the brief?
House in a lovely area, with fantastic garden, but in need of renovation and extension to house family of 5.
Wanted open kitchen and dining area to form communal heart of the house.
Other new rooms required: kids snug, home office, utility room and bathroom
Make the most of the garden, improving both visual and physical connections form the house, but didn’t want a glass-box. Wanted to maintain a sense of solidity and cosiness.
Small roof extensions to create more usable space on first floor, including ensuite for master bedroom and larger guestroom.

Cambridge Garden House

What were the solutions?
Carefully made case in submission to council and early engagement with Planning Officers.
Used red brick and white windows to tie-in to house. To soften the feeling of the wall, selected hand-made bricks with cownose curved ends.
Arrangement of vertical brick piers creates rhythm and relief to rear of house, complimenting arts and crafts derived style of original building.

Cambridge Garden House

Deep window reveals give façade depth from outside and increase feeling of thick protective walls when looking out from inside. The design is for a strong new façade as a solid backdrop to the garden, while still allowing openness to the garden between the piers. The wall feels both solid and intricate, protective and open.

Cambridge Garden House

Cambridge Garden House

New snug behind living room has very large picture window framing the garden, together with central rooflight. Glass doors connecting this to living allow the light and views to benefit both rooms.

Cambridge Garden House

Cambridge Garden House

The ground floor has been planned as an interconnected collection of rooms, encouraging movement and interaction. All the rooms, aside from wc’s, have more than one door and comfortable places have been made to sit throughout, with no area used solely as circulation. Some rooms are bright and open, others offer intimate nooks for privacy.

Cambridge Garden House

Key products used:
Velfac windows
Zinc roof
Wienerberger bricks

Cambridge Garden House

Cambridge Garden House

Who are the clients and what’s interesting about them?
Family of five, moving to Cambridge from London. Had lived in house for few years first – long enough to get to know it and what they needed.

Cambridge Garden House

How is the project unique?
Craftmanship of brick extension structure, that is neither a pastiche of the original house, nor an overtly different glass-box. It is clearly new, but also increases appreciation for the qualities of the original building.

Architects: Cairn

Cambridge Garden House

Images: Peter Landers

Cambridge Garden House, Cambridgeshire images / information received 300321

Location: Cambridge, UK

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