A dramatic extension was added to the rear of a detached Victorian villa in London to provide a new and sophisticated spatial connection between the principal living areas to the upper and lower ground floors of the original house and the garden. The carefully composed black brick extension employs structural finesse to allow large openings of clear glass to both roof and wall, in contrast to the load bearing masonry of the old house. The design takes the traditional idea of window and wall, solid and void and develops it in a more overtly tectonic idiom to create an extension that both contrasts and harmonises with its parent building.
Within, the house was reconfigured producing an open plan lower ground floor to contain a family room, kitchen and dining area whilst retaining the elegant formality of the upper ground reception rooms. These two worlds only merge within the new extension above the fulcrum of the double height sky lit dining area and linked via a new garden room at the intermediate level. The connection to the garden is made from this room through a 6m wide sliding glass wall and, from basement level, via a sunken terrace. This contains a reflecting pool and, conceived as a modern grotto, is carved out of the garden to which it connects via an amphitheatre of black brick steps.