modern extension and internal alterations | Abingdon, Oxfordshire
WINNER of Best Extension in the 2016 Real Homes Transformation Awards
This handsome late-Victorian house was built in 1904 and forms part of Park Crescent overlooking Albert Park – described by Sir John Betjemen as England’s finest example of a Victorian suburb. The park together with the surrounding Victorian and Edwardian houses were laid out from 1860 by Christ’s Hospital of Abingdon. Architects who worked on the estate included Edwin Dolby (1838–1900), his pupil, J. G. Timothy West (1860–1931), and A. B. West (1885–1957), as well as John Gibbs who designed the 1865 stone monument to Prince Albert in the park.
The house had only two owners before our clients acquired it in late 2014. The last significant works to the house were undertaken in the 1970’s; as well as an entirely inappropriate rear extension, much of the Victorian detailing throughout the property was covered over. The kitchen was shoehorned into the darkest part of the property with little natural sunlight.
Our remit extended to re-planning the rear of the house. We replaced the 1970’s extension with a much larger extension and repositioned the kitchen within to create a modern family space that addressed the garden. We also dropped the floor level from the hallway to heighten the drama when entering the space. Externally the extent and proportions of the new space is framed with metal cladding. It is an unashamedly modern approach that exploits the Victorian grandeur of the house. Clerestory and vertical slot windows also help capture late winter sun as well as providing glimpsed views of the garden from the new entrance porch.