K & K House is a typical Victorian red-brick terrace house, bought as a family home for a young couple: K & K, their two children and grandmother. The house and particularly the rear return were in an advanced state of disrepair when purchased, and with the limited budget available after substantial remedial work to the main house it was decided to take an economic approach that incorporated the necessary propping of the rear return, into a proposal for a novel type of extension.
K & K House was the first proper commission this architect received, from an old friend willing to take a chance. As the original budget was meager, much of the finishing work followed the main contract as money became available and circumstances improved.
In retrospect it seems as if my subsequent work has strayed from the risk taking and openness of this project. At the time I was obsessed with expressing a clunky ineloquent aesthetic that was not readily consumable, that is to say; work which by nature of its awkward, constructional materiality could somehow remain outside the culture of good taste, finishes, and reductive imagery. The result of this position was to make a piece of work where the constructional detail is robustly expressed. There is an effort toward balancing a refinement of detailing against an intention for that detail to look ‘easy’: to be legible and to be pleasurable to behold.
The design process was a methodical working back and forth between the 1.500 urban scale and the 1.5 detail scale, encompassing the design and making of oak stools to perch at the south facing deep section larch framed window, while simultaneously pushing the interpretation of what constitutes ‘exempted development’ to the maximum.
The extension makes use of tall panels of glass to maximise daylight and solar gain deep into the house. A tall roof lit space allows passive ventilation, and the warm air generated by this solar gain is cross ventilated through the main house. This tall light filled space is compressed against the back wall of the existing return. It is a stray note to offset the economy deployed elsewhere in the project.
The choice of corrugated cladding materials and larch timber / masonry construction are intended as a reference to the ad hoc use of such materials in back of house developments ‘thrown up’ along the lane. Much of the demolished brick was salvaged and reused in repairs and paving to the rear garden.
K & K House is intended as a pleasurable south facing sun-trap and a relatively low cost, ecologically performative addition to the back of terrace typology.