Victoria Terrace: “The Twist”

Our client are a young couple who love cooking and wanted a kitchen and eating space space in which to enjoy spending time and entertaining. We proposed a scheme to create a unified kitchen and dining area, including an extension into the garden.

Within the existing house, we reconfigured the layout, swapping the existing dining area with a new kitchen that connects to the extension to make one open space. This is accessed by a wide sliding door that is central to the space, serving to improve the flow of the house.

The back of the house projects out in the middle and this divides the available space, however on one side of this projection, the boundary of the site fans out, providing a wider space and a wider aspect – an ideal position for an extension to contain the dining area.

Responding creatively to constraints can result in something special. The limited space made it doubly important to take advantage of the extra width created by the angle of the boundary. However, this extra space was subject to further restrictions from the planners which reduced how high we could build along the boundary line.

Our solution was a design that stacks and twists, building in layers from the boundary line to achieve its full height.

To maximise the height in the extension, we lowered the floor and added a step down from the kitchen area. We removed the wooden flooring and replaced it with a tile floor throughout the length of the room and onto the patio, blending the interior and exterior.

The success of the design relies on making a relatively small space feel open and airy. The glazed roof over the extension ceiling floods the dining area with natural light while the sliding doors can be swept away to give an unobstructed view of the garden. The exposed brick on one extension wall mediates between inside and outside.

A specifically designed cupboard keeps appliances out of sight but ready to use, and built-in shelving is fully integrated into the design to preserve the harmony of the design. A peninsula at the end of the kitchen acts as a threshold to the dining area and creates a secondary seating area with a built-in wine rack to maximise the available space. A cool palette accented with a pop of orange creates a calm and contemporary feel for the couple and their friends to enjoy.