Wedderburn Cottage

 

 We know how important it is to enjoy light and sunshine all year round. It makes such a difference to how you feel, especially on a cold winter’s day. But if a house happens to be Grade II listed, the introduction of light – and the blurring of inside and outside spaces – takes a particularly sensitive, bespoke approach.

In the case of this detached Victorian house, it was the local Conservation Department who recommended us to the owners. We’d worked with them before and they were confident we’d find a way of marrying a respect for the old with an appreciation of the new, and that we’d think through every detail.

That’s exactly what we did, creating a beautiful new space which enhances rather than detracts from the strong character of the house. In fact, our full-scale mock-up of one of the key details was exhibited as part of the 2015 London Festival of Architecture. It demonstrates our careful approach and the thought that went into getting every element of this project just right.

But of course there are far more important measures of success. The living space in the light, airy addition lifts the mood on even the dullest of winter days. It’s part of a seamless flow from house to garden, and it’s where the owners spend so much of their time. The dark former kitchen is a John Soane-inspired timber-panelled lounge, perfect for evenings. And, just as importantly, the walls at the rear of the house are unobscured and stand as proudly as they always have. For the Conservation Department, those stunning elevations are still the star of the show.

 

“Our house is a detached, listed property in Hampstead, North London which we wished to extend into the rear garden in a way that would maximise light and blur the boundary between inside and outside space. It was also important to avoid obscuring the rear of the house in order to satisfy the Camden planning department. Finkernagel Ross produced a very elegant design that satisfied all our requirements, and successfully negotiated the approval of the planning department.”

Phil and Diane Turner

Photography by Will Scott