Inside a double-height extension to a London terraced home

This modern home extension has just been crowned overall winner at the Don't Move, Improve awards 2020.

By Hugh Metcalf | 13 February 2020

The architects took advantage of the quirks of this London terrace to create a vast, glazed, infill home extension, which has won the overall prize at the Don’t Move, Improve Awards 2020.

Proctor and Shaw Architects create double height home extension - grand designs

Image: Radu Palicica

In terraced houses with side returns, it’s more common than not for neighbouring properties to be symmetrical – reflecting the layout of the home to each side of it and sharing a party wall in the existing rear extension.

However, for this project in Lambeth, the architects at Proctor and Shaw were presented with a ‘hit and miss’ pattern of existing rear returns. This meant that the party wall adjunct to the properties side return was both unusually high and windowless, offering an opportunity for an extension that could reach dizzy heights.

The resulting design, referred to as the Soffit House by the London based design studio, has just been awarded the prize of overall winner at the Don’t Move, Improve Awards for 2020.

Adding light with windows and doors

exterior of double height side return infill extension - grand designs

Image: Radu Palicica

What was once a dank, dark rear extension is now a light-filled space, thanks to large expanses of glazing. The renovation has helped to create a new dining space, as well as a kitchen set back into the extension.

london terraced house before rear side return extension - grand designs

Image: Radu Palicica

Before, an external staircase lead from the street level storey to the garden, with separate access to the garden from the cramped basement space. The renovation raised the floor level in the extension to create more of a middleground between the garden and basement, while also ensuring that ceiling height wasn’t compromised.