butcher bayley architects (BBA) have completed a copper-clad extension to a victorian mid-terrace home, in the mill road conservation area of cambridge, in the UK. the site encourages an ingenious solution, with a modestly sized side and rear extension composed of a series of stepped and angle forms, in response to issues of overlooking, daylight and access. the result brings together bold geometry, colorful materials, and varied textures – to accommodate a young, modern family.
all images by matthew smith
prior to the clients purchasing the property it had been extended with a loft conversion, however this had left a mismatch between accommodation on different floors. the ground floor felt too small, with too many doors and wasted spaces, alongside a very small kitchen and the house lacked the kind of living space a young family needs. at its core, BBA‘s design opened up a series of small rooms in the existing house, providing a new open plan kitchen and dining room, with views into the garden.
careful consideration was given to the sequencing of the new spaces and the experience of moving through the home. rooms shift in size, with undulating ceiling heights that signify different uses, and a geometry that can be clearly read internally. entering from the street, the existing hallway has been retained. moving through a new pocket sliding door you enter into a study, open to the original street-facing living room and extension to the rear. recognizing that the study is also the key circulation link between multiple spaces, fitted furniture, and storage has been placed along the party wall to organize the different uses efficiently.
where previously there had been a cramped kitchen, utility room, and an outside toilet, a new open plan kitchen, and dining space have been created. through a narrow side infill and rear extension, the internal floor area has been increased by just 19 m2, and the back side of the house is completely transformed. the kitchen sits beneath the original first floor rear outrigger, in its original position, with a large island significantly increasing the area of worksurface and storage. at the far end of the extension is a dining area, aligned with a picture window, complete with a window seat.
the opening into the extension is aligned with two large roof lights, raising the ceiling line from the already generous 2.5 m of the original victorian structure to a dramatic 3.3 m. the position of the rooflights is designed to flood the otherwise landlocked study with natural light. rising even higher, to 3.8 m, is a narrow slot rooflight positioned over the kitchen sink, designed to read as a chimney from the exterior, mirroring the proportions of the original chimney on the first floor outrigger.
to compliment the bold geometric forms, the extension is clad in vibrant pre-patinated standing seam copper. alongside the blue-green hue of the copper, BBA have utilized buff reclaimed cambridge stock bricks at low level and the ‘chimney’ abutting the neighbours pitched roof, to match the original victorian terrace. window and door details are made from oak, to further compliment the copper.
name: copper house
architects: butcher bayley architects (BBA)
location: cambridge, UK
myrto katsikopoulou I designboom
nov 16, 2020