Sliding doors and windows bringing this Victorian semi back to life and bursting with light


Victorian houses remain perennially popular but aren’t always built for modern living. We look at an award winning refurb that has breathed new life – and lots of light – into a family home…

rear of Victorian home with new extension 

Image: Logan Irvine-MacDougall

Bringing the outside in

Felsham Road is a radical reworking of an early Victorian semi-detached house in Putney realised by Giles & Pike Architects. The existing building had a raised ground floor with entrance hall and main reception, a bedroom floor above and a semi-submerged lower floor with the kitchen.

The previous owner had built a substantial two-storey extension at the rear, providing a dining room at ground level and bedroom above, but this improved neither the organisation of the main house nor how it connected to the garden. The new owner wanted a rethink, one that involved making better use of outside space and natural light but still sympathetic to the original building.

 interior of open plan extension with island and dining table

Image: Logan Irvine-MacDougall

Digging down

The architect developed a design that incorporated the envelope of the extension, which helped both economically as well as in gaining the necessary planning permission. The ground floor of the extension was removed, and a lower ground floor excavated beneath the rear and extended into the garden. This was a simple notion, but it unlocked the full potential of the project, allowing a dramatic two-tier effect to be created using existing space.

This space is not only generous and filled with light, but also links the original building to the existing and new extensions more successfully than in the previous arrangement, providing views and physical connections along the length of the building, from the front entrance hall seamlessly through to the rear garden.

 open plan kitchen and dining room with steps out to patio

Image: Logan Irvine-MacDougall

The light fantastic

The result is an innovative house which has been created through intelligent and imaginative design. The ample spaces, combined with the increased amount of natural light entering the house through large areas of clear frameless glazing, make a spectacular home equipped for modern family living.

Schüco products were used throughout, including the ASS 50 lift-and-slide door system and, for the windows, a combination of the AWS 65 and the AWS 70.HI. All utilise the latest technology to deliver high performance, security and thermal efficiency combined with small sightlines and maximal views. 

 view from top of stairs down to home extension

Image: Logan Irvine-MacDougall

“Once we had agreed the concept,” says the architect, “the project fell into place.” The use of a glazed roof, over what was a dark side return, now covers the new mezzanine stairway from the main reception to the kitchen level. Full-width clerestory windows provide both a flow of light and tree canopy views to spaces that were previously dark and uninviting.

Schüco create door systems for a world without walls. Discover more about their range and their former projects by visiting them online and downloading their brochure.

Kevins Column

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