Flagship design for Battersea firm ultimately goes to build

Visionary London and Surrey-based architects and planning consultants, Extension Architecture have recently begun work on an innovative project that will transform an ordinary post-war suburban house in Wimbledon into a pair of state-of-the-art semi-detached homes.

From a single 220m² dwelling – worth an estimated £2.1 million – will be born a semi-detached duplex of 610m², with valuation from 3 local estate agents of around £6 million.

With each property to have 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and luxury designs inside and out, this non-descript twentieth century house will be transformed from ‘more of the same’, to stunning show houses.

Exceeding The Brief

Extension Architecture are really not your average architectural company; it is one of the rare firms that has both Planning and Architectural/Interior design departments under one roof. All 3 departments come into play at different times of the cycle of the project and we regard them all to be very important in understanding the client’s brief but also vital to maximise the potential value of the site.

In the case of this average Wimbledon semi, Extension Architecture were first approached by the owner several years ago. Having already consulted several other London architectural firms, this client had been told by 3 firms that the only option was a side double storey extension.

This property benefits from a unique attribute that none of the 30 neighbours had on the street. The existence of a historic sub-station that had a 6 linear metre enclosure, allowed just enough space between the neighbouring sites. Because of this, the client had previously obtained planning permission for a double storey extension then ironically asked Extension Architecture to renew the permission, as it had reached the expiry date of its 3 years’ timeline.

Extension Architecture’s Principal, Youn-ou Kim, saw another vision. Planning Consultant Kim is different in that he always targets maximum potential of a site, within the planning boundaries. For example, was able to simulate the first semi-detached house on another (pretty exclusive) road, as well as the first basement on that road.

Pushing The Boundaries

Working from the client brief, Extension Architecture designed two mirror image symmetrical modern homes that also match the more dated surroundings. They ensured that the contemporary overhaul for the client would blend with the environment and thus secure planning permission.

Creating front and rear designs that were sympathetic to the style of the original house, yet had clean, modern lines, plenty of natural light and large interior spaces, they were also able to add an additional home for their client.

Using several traditional architectural features for some of the windows, dormers and roof, together with minimalist touches – like symmetrical circular bay windows on the facades, and twin orangeries to the rear – the result was a pair of elegant homes that are very pleasing to the eye.

Mr Kim said:

“As we had to convince the planning department and the whole neighbourhood that this building would make the street look better than how it was, we created a design to make it look like a singular detached house to passers-by, yet if they looked more closely, they would figure out that it is in fact two houses.”

As a neighbourhood committee had formed especially to oppose this development, we had to be very sympathetic to the surrounding house styles. Extension Architecture decided to use traditional materials for the exterior, like yellow stock bricks, white plastered walls, Georgian-style doors and windows, and grey roof tiles. The textures and the muted hues of cream, beige and grey contribute to the unobtrusive aspect and minimalist feel of the development.

After a year and three months, at the planning committee took a unanimous decision in favour the design, with the introduction of a semi-detached pair of houses.

More Than Architects

The true genius in Extension Architecture’s flagship project is not simply in a pleasing design. Other architects can be quite strong in design, but at EA the client does get a lot more than just the aesthetics. Their team is made up of planning consultants, architects and interior designers, as well as external, and technical experts such as engineers and surveyors. Therefore, they can offer a holistic approach which sets them far ahead of their competitors.

As well as designing a beautiful exterior for the property, the team were also able to create a stunning interior – detailing the colour scheme, furniture and even wall art – that finished the client brief with a minimalist, modern home.

Because of the expertise of their internal planning consultants, Extension Architecture were able to make sure this adventurous project could ultimately be realised. Despite initial objections from 29 out of 30 neighbours, the detailed application they submitted to the council’s planning department on behalf of the client – including a 3D immersive visual, showing architectural drawings, an indication of the tender pack for materials to be used, interior design schemes and an itemised roadmap for the build – achieved a unanimous decision in favour of the proposal by the Planning Committee at Merton Council.

This is where Extension Architecture have a unique selling point: unlike their peers, they offer the full range of design and support services to assist clients from concept to construction. A one-stop shop is desirable in what is usually a complex process to navigate.

Our clients can be sure of complete support at all stages of the process, and their success rate for approvals is very high. They can stand with confidence because of the number of strong projects in their portfolio.

Get In Touch

To find out more about this vibrant young architectural firm, and to view some current and previous case studies, you can visit the website here.

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to one of the team at Extension Architecture for a free consultation and quotation, do call 0203 409 4215, or complete the contact form on their website to request your free quote.