Contemporary Rear Extension to Grade 2 Listed House

Project Info

  • Construction Date

    Summer 2017

  • Location

    Lewes, East Sussex

The brief

The property owners wanted to upgrade or replace their existing cold, cramped and damp galley kitchen and create an open-plan kitchen and dining room built to current standards fit for modern living.

The property

The property is a three-storey grade 2 listed end of the terraced house built in 1827. At the front, the house is directly on to the pavement and to the rear of the principal house was a later built lean-to outshot containing the kitchen. An unused lean-too WC sat in the top corner of the garden. The property has an original basement and a recent loft conversion in the pitched slate roof. The principal part of the house is constructed from a mixture of red and grey bricks and flints. The windows in the house are original timber sliding sashes with thin glazing bars but the kitchen windows were PVC. To the side of the house is a high brick and flint wall forming the boundary between the property and a side lane. The mono-pitched roofs of the kitchen and WC both leaned against the boundary wall, which was in urgent need of repair. The property is listed and any works needed both Listed Building Consent and planning approval.

The solution

The initial proposal was to retain and upgrade the existing kitchen. After listed building consent approval was given it was discovered that the single-skin kitchen walls had no foundations, they were built directly off the soil below and there was no form of damp proofing in the kitchen at all. The kitchen was not part of the original 1827 structure and subsequent listed building consent was given to remove the kitchen outshot and build a new extension across the back of the house.
The extension is designed to compliment the original house but intended to be read as a modern addition. It seeks to respect the historic nature of the principal house and not disturb any of the original features of the house or the brick and flint boundary wall. The side walls are set back from the existing boundary walls and the new roof avoids any historic features on the house.
The extension is a single-storey light-weight timber construction built off strip and slab foundations, keeping their size and depth to a minimum. The materials and finish are traditional but vary from the principal house, it has rendered walls, a zinc roof and metal windows and doors.

The result

Work was completed in the summer of 2017, just in time for the owners impending wedding. The extension sits hidden behind the listed boundary wall and it has transformed their lives, how the house feels and how they use it. They can now cook, eat, socialize or just be, in the warm, light and spacious new room.
Light from the generous sized roof-lights floods the extension, the fine profiles of the metal doors and window open up the house to the rear patio. The external finishes, the window, doors, and roof-lights give the extension a contemporary feel whilst not compromise an important heritage building.
Internally, the owners have created a stylish room that looks and feels modern that works brilliantly for them. Simple lines, minimal complimentary colours and fine detailing finishes off what is in view of the highly skilled and experienced builder “one of my best jobs”.