The director of a successful restaurant group felt it was time to bring contemporary design into his own family home. Within an austere 19th century villa we were asked to refit the kitchen and add a conservatory.
The brief was clear in its aspiration and the finishes were to be seen as high quality; stainless steel and limestone were to be the emblems of modern good taste. The project developed the brief on the 'both and principle'; making an open plan living space that was both a kitchen and a conservatory, a family room and an office all pivoting around a terrazzo cooking island, the fulcrum of modern family life. Behind this a stainless steel machine wall houses the sink, dishwasher and food storage, the only opaque element in the extension's enclosure.
The timber frame and glass extension nestles behind a listed facade in the genre of the lean-to. Only on moving round the side of the house does the extension reveal its enigmatic identity. Occupying the southwest corner of the site, vertical oak fins shade the glass enclosure from the excess of the sun, whilst funnelling the internal view down toward the garden. Oblique views to the side are animated with shafts of sunlight and shadow.