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Modern Side Extension – RIBA Awards


Modern Side Extension

Coffey Architects

From : architecture.com


The modest side extension is the mainstay of small inner city architecture practices, particularly in London. Coffey Architects have made their reputation with a series of successful projects of this scale and are now applying what they have learnt to much larger projects. This extension marks the culmination of the years of research and learning through working at this scale and is a work of such pared back decision making, that they have, in a fashion, redefined the side extension. Coffey Architects are so convinced of this themselves that they have set up a service that allows clients to buy one direct.


A proto-typical solution that shows even the smallest architectural projects can be transformational. Three storey terraced properties, with double height rear outrigger extension are typical throughout Queens Park and much of London. Light can struggle to penetrate into these buildings, particularly with this north facing rear fac¸ade. The client’s brief, further to improving the quality of light was to consolidate the disparate internal ground floor layout to accommodate large social gathering of friends and colleagues, which until now were split between the rear kitchen and front living zones.


So why is this example so good? Really great architecture still comes back to the fundamentals, and Modern Side Extension is a great example of building out a very simple idea. It is a project about solid and void with two large glazed elements defining the space: a long linear strip rooflight giving a view to the sky and glazing that opens up the rear of the property to the garden. All this is achieved through what looks like simple engineering whereby the brick infill to the extension supports the first floor of the house, above that it cantilevers slightly beyond the supporting plane.


The project is exquisitely detailed, providing a template for contemporary open-plan living that will be emulated across the country. The Modern Side Extension is an uncompromisingly modern solution to the expansion of a terraced home.

carrie emberlyn