Ballyhackamore Extension

This colonnaded extension to a detached 1912 Edwardian house creates a seamless link between house and garden, indoors and out, old and new.  The warren of service spaces and ad-hoc accretions typically found to the rear of period houses are replaced with a room more in proportion with the grandeur of the front of house.  Employing a form, materiality and scale that evoke a public building, the design intentionally places importance on the kitchen as the heart of domestic life – the agora of the contemporary home.  

Shortlisted for RSUA Design Awards, 2023

Exposed brickwork of the back of the original house now forms a link between kitchen and playroom

Interest is added to the front-facing elevation through recessed brickwork.

Little existing built fabric is removed. To achieve generous ceiling height, the extension is positioned beyond the rear return, with its floor stepping down towards the garden. Long-format bricks with colour-matched mortar give a monolithic appearance that is distinct and yet blends with the original brickwork.

The deceptively simple plan follows a rigorous grid. A pantry and study area are tucked discretely into one solid-walled corner, where they don’t interrupt the colonnade. The L-shaped plan generously pushes out into the garden to create a space for informal seating. Three irregular windows are retained within the brick rear wall of the original house. Lined with oak, these openings now sit above the kitchen worktop, linking the kitchen to a newly formed playroom.

The colonnade follows a rigorous grid

With its southerly orientation and floor-to-ceiling glazing, light and shadow dance across this space throughout the day and the changing seasons. Modest flat rooflights over the island and the dining table are dramatized through tapered reveals in the flat ceiling that spread daylight across the room. Artificial lighting is suspended below, from leather straps, in a triangular inverse of the taper above, while spots in the floor, centred on piers inside and out, highlight the texture of the handmade bricks after dark.

Image Credits: Elyse Kennedy