19 Jun 2024

A Striking Kitchen Extension for Family Living

A large home built in the 1970s in a Georgian style has been modernised and extended to better suit the needs of contemporary family life.

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A bright, sociable space

Design & Development Consultancy modernised the home to accommodate the family’s needs, carefully blending innovative design with the traditional style of the home.

Completed in two stages, the first phase modernised the original house, converted the roof space and added dormer windows to provide additional bedrooms for the client’s teenage children.

Meanwhile, the second stage created a new kitchen, dining and entertaining space to the side of the building – replacing the former conservatory. A new garage, hobbies room and guest bedroom were also added.

It was the client’s dream to have a modern kitchen design while also retaining the existing Georgian style of the home.

3D visualisation brings design ideas to life

Having worked with Design & Development Consultancy on a previous project, the client chose to work with Building Engineer, Ian Spencer, and his team from the initial brief through to construction and finish.

The original kitchen was small and difficult to enlarge due to the constraints of the house plan. However, the area, previously occupied by an outdated conservatory, was the ideal location for the new extension. In addition to a large kitchen, dining and entertaining space, the extension added a new garage, a hobbies room and guest bedroom to the first floor.

The 3D and visualisation elements of architectural design software Archicad were invaluable throughout the project, from early design ideas through to discussions at the construction stage with the contractors.

“The 3D element of Archicad is particularly useful as most people can’t visualise what something will look like from a 2D drawing. We had one idea, which was a flat roof rising to a peak, but, by being able to see it in 3D, we chose the sloping triangle instead,” explains Ian.

Sketch ideas were explored, and the original plan featured a CoreTen finish inspired by the Henry Moore Archive Building. However, the client was unsure about the colour, and visualisations helped in exploring other concepts, assisting with the change of finish from CoreTen to zinc.

Design & Development Consultancy also used Graphisoft’s mobile presentation tool BIMx to further explain the designs when liaising with the client, the planners and the contractor.

“BIMx is amazing,” says Ian. “Clients love it, as do the contractors. We always use it to help explain our designs. Clients appreciate having the designs on their own devices, allowing them to walk around the planned spaces.

“It was also very useful to help with planning permission. We sent visuals to the planners to help them see what was being proposed.”

Keeping warm in winter and cool in summer

The extension is built with a steel frame and structurally-insulated panels (SIPs), which required careful detailing at the piled foundations, walls and SIPs junctions. The top and side of the SIPs are all clad in the zinc for consistency.

Due to the large amount of glazing, the designers used Archicad to compare different options for insulation. The optimum choice was SIPs for the walls, together with triple-glazed windows with thin glazing bars to maintain the aesthetic. “We opted for SIPs as they have fantastic insulation properties and provide phenomenal U-values,” says Ian.

As the kitchen is south facing, overheating was also a consideration. The design continues the roof towards the garden to create shade during the summer months but still allows solar gain during the winter months.

“We used the sun study function, which was very useful. We always want to see how the sun will fall at different times of the day and at different times in the year, as it is something that can really affect a building,” explains Ian.

Working with contractors to deliver a perfect finish

The project included piled foundations, which were needed due to the ground conditions, adding an extra element of complexity.

Although the structural engineer worked in 2D, the use of Archicad and BIMx helped the contractor work out how to build some of the awkward shapes. The roof, for example, includes some complex corners with a 45° angle that comes to a 90° angle.

As well as helping to explain the designs to contractors and consultants, the ability to easily pull out the details directly and produce detailed schedules was very useful.

Design & Development Consultancy worked closely with the contractor and the specialist installers throughout the project to overcome any issues as they arose and ensured the work was delivered as planned.

Having requested a larger kitchen for entertaining, the client has achieved a bright, social space that benefits from vast amounts of natural light, with a glass front optimising stunning views from the back of the house.

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