A single storey rear extension to a semi-detached house in Preston, designed to open up the kitchen and provide space for a growing family.


The brief was to provide a single storey rear extension providing a new ‘family room’ and open plan kitchen, which was designed to make more efficient use of the increased space. The existing garden was used all rear round and it was very important to the client that the requirement for additional space had to be balanced with the need to keep as much of the garden as possible. It was also crucial that the existing kitchen area did not become too dark, and so maximising light in this area was a key part of the design.


The solution started by opening up as much of the existing rear external wall as possible, to create a seamless, open-plan space, allowing for a more efficient kitchen layout, while accommodating the family room. Due to the position of the extension in relation to the plot, the corner of the room was opened up, so that the space became more of a room in the garden, maintaining that link to outside which was so vital to the clients from the outset. The triple roof windows bring natural light into the depth of the space, and careful consideration was also given to the issues of building within a floodplain – the effective replacement of garden space with a roof area can increase flooding risks, and so rainwater collection and a green roof were used to slow down the rate at which water enters the drainage system and also provide water for use in the garden during dry periods.


The initial sketch design process was key in arriving at the best solution for the client, and seeing this through with only minor changes, meant that the final building has delivered to the brief. Although only a small plot, and therefore a small extension, the careful design of the internal layout, along with its relationship with the garden, has led to a space which feels much larger than it is, and so the advantages of having a family / dining room have not led to compromises elsewhere, such as the garden. The success of the design came from a clear understanding of the clients’ priorities for how they were going to use the space, leading to a bespoke, personal solution.