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Garden room, Belsize Park

The garden room is a side extension to an apartment occupying the ground floor of a large red brick detached Edwardian House, divided by necessity into cellular accommodation separated by large load bearing walls with limited natural light.   The new room was perceived as a modern antidote to these shortcomings, an open plan space with extensive views of the garden and plentiful daylight, into which the core kitchen, dining and living areas were relocated.

We purposefully minimised the use of masonry in the new extension so that the division between the older heavier building and new lighter extension can be clearly discerned.  The new form is a flattened tube, glazed at both ends and clad in pre oxidised copper with a deep brown, bronze hue.  The copper perches on a brick plinth and projects forward of it, appearing to hover above the front garden.

Together with slim bronze coloured window frames and a slatted hardwood side screen and decking, the building responds to the presence of two mature copper beech trees within the garden.

The new building sits below several windows of the upper apartments within the house.  It is planted  with sedum, a drought resistant flowering alpine evergreen which provides a pleasant view from these windows, and from those of other higher adjacent buildings.  The lower roof height to the side passage/garden store also presents an unobtrusive side elevation onto the neighbouring end of terrace building in Belsize Crescent.

internally a dark bronze kitchen occupies one wall, tucked beneath clerestorey windows.  The timber joists of the ceiling are planed and left exposed - aiding acoustics and adding textural interest.

Photos by David Modell