Interlocking boxes extend Victorian townhouse

Architects play with light and dimensions in new extension

by Megan 28 December 2012
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    Boucher House is a well-proportioned Victorian house, set on a generous plot in Putney. Due to the site's width compared to most townhouses, the architects were able to get both the kitchen and the dining space to have a direct relationship with the garden.

    The new building is of two interlocking boxes, one that houses the dining space, the other the kitchen. One box is higher, and the other pushes out further into the garden. Each box has three large sliding doors and the two end doors overlap in the centre of the elevation. This creates an unusual arrangement that allows all six panels to stack in front of each other in the centre of the space. Equally because the site had width, the architects wanted "to avoid the big dumb box strategy" and break the new work down.

    As the house is a good distance from the neighbours, a strip of glass has been run up the walls and across the roof, giving a very clear distinction of new and old yet attracting lots of light. The scheme was originally designed to have a basement below the new extension - and has been designed so that you could potentially add this in the future. The design challenge was thus to make the composition work either way round.

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