Sixties house eco extension

When Robin and Wendy Knibb decided to remodel their Sixties house, they knew just the man to design their eco extension: their architect son

By Sophie Vening | 17 January 2017

When Robin and Wendy Knibb decided to remodel their Sixties house, they knew just the man to design their eco extension: their architect son.

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Having lived in their two-storey, detached Sixties home for a couple of years, Robin and Wendy Knibb were sure they wanted to extend. It wasn’t that they needed more space; the existing layout just wasn’t working for them. ‘My parents bought the house for the plot and the conservation area it is in, rather than for the building,’ explains their son, architect Adam Knibb. ‘It had a divided internal floor plan – quite rabbit warren-like – especially at the back, where the new kitchen now stands.’ The couple asked Adam to come up with a design that would improve the layout and help connect internal and external living spaces.

The new single-storey extension adds about 25 square metres to the house and comprises an open-plan kitchen-dining-living area to the rear of the house. Extensive construction work was completed in the rest of the home, too, to help to open up the internal space. Walls were taken out and large steelwork put in to span the width of the property, allowing for a wide kitchen area and creating an endless view from the front door, right through the house and out to the garden at the back.

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On the first floor, three bedrooms have been created, with the potential to divide one of them into two should the couple ever find they need more sleeping space. Finally, on the second floor, a loft conversion has been added, with dormer windows to provide more headroom. The ceilings have been lowered on both the ground and first floors. ‘As the house is in a conservation area, we couldn’t alter the ridge height of the roof,’ explains Adam.