Architect Adam Knibb designed a snug with its own staircase, lifting this rear extension out of the ordinary.

rear extension victorian property - discover this rear extension designed with working from home in mind - extensions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Martin Gardner

Adam Knibb was briefed by his clients to create a first floor snug that would be stylish and functional for work-from-home purposes.

Take a look at some of the interesting features that truly make this grand idea shine. 

Tell us how this project came about...

My clients, Donna and Brian Malone, asked me to design a rear extension that included a first-floor snug for their two-bedroom Victorian semi-detached home in Warsash, Hampshire. They occasionally work from home, so the room had to serve as both a study and relaxed reading nook with views of the garden.

rear extension victorian property - discover this rear extension designed with working from home in mind - extensions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Martin Gardner

Why not go for a bigger extension?

Donna and Brian were more interested in the way the snug, which is 9.3 square metres, relates to the Victorian house and wanted the ground-floor extension to replace and expand on a conservatory and an infill utility room. The project cost £115,000 and neither the brief nor the budget allowed for a larger addition.

extension with spiral staircase - discover this rear extension designed with working from home in mind - extensions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Martin Gardner

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Any hiccups with the planning process?

We sought pre-application advice to test the waters, which is useful when proposing a more unusual scheme. The initial feedback was very good and we managed to address concerns, such as the impact on neighbouring properties due to overlooking or loss of light by using 3-D modelling to present the proposal from a variety of different viewpoints.

rear extension victorian house - discover this rear extension designed with working from home in mind - extensions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Martin Gardner

What were the challenges?

Since the height of the building’s gable end set a fixed-height parameter, we had to calculate the ground and ceiling levels from the top down. The extension floor was excavated and there are steps down to it from the original part of the house. This creates a subtle transition between new and old spaces and helped us gain as much head room as possible in the snug. 

snug room with picture window - discover this rear extension designed with working from home in mind - extensions - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Martin Gardner

Tell us about some of the key features...

The exterior cladding is striking. It gives the new-build an industrial look that reflects the maritime history of Warsash. Corten steel weathers to an attractive patina and its robustness enabled us to create a continuous facade covering the walls and sections of the roof seamlessly. The snug is defined by its brushed-zinc cladding. 

The staircase an opportunity to bring some of the industrial aspects inside, hence the single piece of treated steel that is folded to create the stair. Markings from its manufacture were retained and the mesh balustrade infill mimics the rust colour of the Corten cladding.

  

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