Extending a Twentieth Century Home to Embrace a Twenty First Century Lifestyle

A glazed and aluminium extension with oak pillars, on a raised patio. Home extension by Communion ArchitectsA glazed and aluminium extension with oak pillars, on a raised patio. Home extension by Communion Architects
A stone driveway leading to a double garage and white 1930s house. To the left hand side of the house is a Home extension by Communion Architects.A stone driveway leading to a double garage and white 1930s house. To the left hand side of the house is a Home extension by Communion Architects.
Angled close-up of a home extension by communion architects. A single storey extension with a zinc roof and full height glazing.Angled close-up of a home extension by communion architects. A single storey extension with a zinc roof and full height glazing.
Side view of home extension by communion architects, Herefordshire. Image shows flat, over hanging roof projecting full height glazing, framed with aluminium and timber columns on a raised patio.Side view of home extension by communion architects, Herefordshire. Image shows flat, over hanging roof projecting full height glazing, framed with aluminium and timber columns on a raised patio.
Corner of home extension. Aluminium framed, full height windows, which go around the corner. Over hanging flat roof supported by timber columns. Communion Architects, HerefordshireCorner of home extension. Aluminium framed, full height windows, which go around the corner. Over hanging flat roof supported by timber columns. Communion Architects, Herefordshire
Home Extension. The lower third of the frame is a stone patio, the upper two thirds show a portion of the glazed extension, inside a seating area can be seen. Communion Architects Herefordshire.Home Extension. The lower third of the frame is a stone patio, the upper two thirds show a portion of the glazed extension, inside a seating area can be seen. Communion Architects Herefordshire.
Glazed Home extension, image shows the bi-folding doors opening out on to a slate patio. Communion Architects. Hereford.Glazed Home extension, image shows the bi-folding doors opening out on to a slate patio. Communion Architects. Hereford.
Home Extension, image shows steps up to a slate patio, which leads to the glazed living area. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.Home Extension, image shows steps up to a slate patio, which leads to the glazed living area. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
Interior of home extension. Interior shows three walls of glazing with a roof opening to create a light-filled living area. Inside is a fire place and coffee table, from this table will rise a tv. Communion architects, Herefordshire.Interior of home extension. Interior shows three walls of glazing with a roof opening to create a light-filled living area. Inside is a fire place and coffee table, from this table will rise a tv. Communion architects, Herefordshire.
Interior of Home Extension. Image shows an open plan kitchen and dining area which leads to a seating area - this is an L-shaped room. In the image there are two walls of glazing to provide ample lighting to the white kitchen and dining area. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.Interior of Home Extension. Image shows an open plan kitchen and dining area which leads to a seating area - this is an L-shaped room. In the image there are two walls of glazing to provide ample lighting to the white kitchen and dining area. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
Interior of Home Extension. A black, marble kitchen island in a white kitchen, in the background the wooden dining table can be seen with a glazed wall behind it. Communion Architects Herefordshire.Interior of Home Extension. A black, marble kitchen island in a white kitchen, in the background the wooden dining table can be seen with a glazed wall behind it. Communion Architects Herefordshire.
Home extension. An open plan kitchen to the left and dining area to the right. Behind these is a seating area, with three walls of glazing. This creates a light filled living area for the family. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.Home extension. An open plan kitchen to the left and dining area to the right. Behind these is a seating area, with three walls of glazing. This creates a light filled living area for the family. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
A seating area in a home extension. In the image a grey corner sofa sits in a modern extension with three walls of glazing surrounding it. An opening in the roof brings more sunlight into this light-filled extension. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.A seating area in a home extension. In the image a grey corner sofa sits in a modern extension with three walls of glazing surrounding it. An opening in the roof brings more sunlight into this light-filled extension. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
Portrait image of the interior of this light-filled home extension. Communion Architects Herefordshire.Portrait image of the interior of this light-filled home extension. Communion Architects Herefordshire.
Exterior of home extension, close up of glazed sliding doors closed with timber columns either side. Communion Architects HerefordshireExterior of home extension, close up of glazed sliding doors closed with timber columns either side. Communion Architects Herefordshire
Home extension with original 1930s house in the background. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.Home extension with original 1930s house in the background. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
Tripartite image of home extension. Lower third is occupied by green grass, middle third features the low, glazed extension with a flat zinc roof, the upper third shows the original house rising in the background and the blue sky. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.Tripartite image of home extension. Lower third is occupied by green grass, middle third features the low, glazed extension with a flat zinc roof, the upper third shows the original house rising in the background and the blue sky. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
Home extension on a slat patio. Image shows low steps on to the patio, leading to the closed sliding doors of the home extension. Through the glazed extension can be seen a seating area with a sofa and a dining area with a dining table. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.Home extension on a slat patio. Image shows low steps on to the patio, leading to the closed sliding doors of the home extension. Through the glazed extension can be seen a seating area with a sofa and a dining area with a dining table. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
Close-up of sliding doors of the glazed extension. Floor to ceiling windows and doors, pictured, create a light-filled living area. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.Close-up of sliding doors of the glazed extension. Floor to ceiling windows and doors, pictured, create a light-filled living area. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
Sliding doors open to the home extension. The opening leads to the open plan living area, with additional sunlight let in through the roof opening. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.Sliding doors open to the home extension. The opening leads to the open plan living area, with additional sunlight let in through the roof opening. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
Tripartite image of grass, glazed extension and the original house and sky in the upper third. The doors to the glazed and aluminium extension are open, welcoming people in. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.Tripartite image of grass, glazed extension and the original house and sky in the upper third. The doors to the glazed and aluminium extension are open, welcoming people in. Communion Architects, Herefordshire.
corner of home extension at dusk, the angle of the image exaggerates the corner over hanging flat zinc roof and the evening drawing in gives cause to turn the warm white lights on inside and the exterior lights which highlight the timber pillars. Communion Architects, Hereford.corner of home extension at dusk, the angle of the image exaggerates the corner over hanging flat zinc roof and the evening drawing in gives cause to turn the warm white lights on inside and the exterior lights which highlight the timber pillars. Communion Architects, Hereford.
Exterior of home extension at twilight. The warm lighting inside the glazed extension brings focus to it, with the family dining room table inside, the original, white 1930s house rises behind. Communion Architects, Hereford.Exterior of home extension at twilight. The warm lighting inside the glazed extension brings focus to it, with the family dining room table inside, the original, white 1930s house rises behind. Communion Architects, Hereford.
Corner image of house extension. The image highlights the fact the extension is simply walls of glass around all three sides. The dusk sky and warm interior lighting brings attention to the timber pillars which support the flat zinc roof which covers the glazed cube. Communion Architects, Hereford.Corner image of house extension. The image highlights the fact the extension is simply walls of glass around all three sides. The dusk sky and warm interior lighting brings attention to the timber pillars which support the flat zinc roof which covers the glazed cube. Communion Architects, Hereford.
Portrait image of the extension, showing the corner of the extension and the two walls of glass in view. The twilight sky contrasts with the warm interior glow coming from the inside. Communion Architects, Hereford.Portrait image of the extension, showing the corner of the extension and the two walls of glass in view. The twilight sky contrasts with the warm interior glow coming from the inside. Communion Architects, Hereford.
Indigo sky and warm bright lighting. A glazed and aluminium extension with a zinc roof. The extension is not dissimilar to a glazed cube as it sits snugly with the 1930s house behind. Communion Architects, Hereford.Indigo sky and warm bright lighting. A glazed and aluminium extension with a zinc roof. The extension is not dissimilar to a glazed cube as it sits snugly with the 1930s house behind. Communion Architects, Hereford.
Home extension by dusk. Facing one of the three fully glazed walls to the extension the warm light inside highlight the welcoming living area inside. Inside one can see the grey corner sofa with a lot fire in the opposite corner and behind these is the family dining room table in this open plan extension. Communion Architects, Hereford.Home extension by dusk. Facing one of the three fully glazed walls to the extension the warm light inside highlight the welcoming living area inside. Inside one can see the grey corner sofa with a lot fire in the opposite corner and behind these is the family dining room table in this open plan extension. Communion Architects, Hereford.
Corner of the home extension. The focus is on the aluminium frame which hold the walls of glazing. The overhanging roof is given extra support by the timber columns slightly away from the glazed walls. Communion Architects, Hereford.Corner of the home extension. The focus is on the aluminium frame which hold the walls of glazing. The overhanging roof is given extra support by the timber columns slightly away from the glazed walls. Communion Architects, Hereford.
View of the back of the house. Showing the back wall of the glazed extension, which opens out from the open plan dining room and living room on to the garden. This glazed cube with a flat zinc roof, contrasts elegantly with the white rendered two storey 1930s house behind. Communion Architects, Hereford.View of the back of the house. Showing the back wall of the glazed extension, which opens out from the open plan dining room and living room on to the garden. This glazed cube with a flat zinc roof, contrasts elegantly with the white rendered two storey 1930s house behind. Communion Architects, Hereford.
Our clients, standing in their bee keeping gear in from of their glazed extension at dusk. Proud owners of their light-filled living area which has transformed their space and transformed their lives. Communion Architects, Hereford.Our clients, standing in their bee keeping gear in from of their glazed extension at dusk. Proud owners of their light-filled living area which has transformed their space and transformed their lives. Communion Architects, Hereford.

Our clients, Sophie, Chris and their young family, relocated to a village in Herefordshire. They bought an early twentieth century house with beautiful views of the Malvern Hills. They knew it had potential, but would need work to make it the forever home they wanted. It was dark and had a small kitchen that wasn’t suitable for modern family life. We worked with them to design a glass, oak and steel extension that wraps around the corner of the house. It allows the family to enjoy the house’s beautiful setting and has created a light-filled, communal kitchen, dining and living space where the family can live and work together.

The Site

Sophie, Chris and their young family, relocated to Herefordshire for family and job reasons.

They found a house in a village location with shops, a pub and a good school. It was an elegant twentieth century house on a plot that had beautiful views of the nearby Malvern Hills. However, the decoration was very dark and the plot was very overgrown, adding to the feeling of darkness. It also only had a small kitchen, which Sophie and Chris knew wouldn’t work for them. But Sophie says: “We could see the potential – it just needed lightening up a bit. Plus this was our forever home and we were prepared to do work on this one.”

The Brief

Sophie, Chris and their family moved into the house. They spent some time living in it before deciding what work was required and how the house would need to be reconfigured and extended. They knew they wanted a new, bigger kitchen where the family could spend time together. They earmarked the room where it would go – it enjoyed the evening sun and had lovely views over their garden and the Malvern Hills.

They redecorated the rest of the house and, when they were ready to start work on the kitchen, approached local architects. Communion was recommended to them and Sophie says they were impressed from the initial contact.

“Alex came around and he seemed to have more ideas and be more in tune with what we wanted than anyone else we spoke to.”
Sophie

The Solution

“The space we’ve got now is so much better than we ever imagined. We’ve got the kitchen with the table, which is one thing that’s great. But we’ve also got the social space as well, with the sitting room and the wood burner.”
Sophie

Sophie and Chris wanted their kitchen extension to feature a lot of glass so it was light-filled and airy. We proposed a timber, metal and glass extension that wrapped around the corner of the house and incorporated the kitchen and the big table Sophie and Chris wanted, as well as a seating area where they could relax as a family.

We proposed sliding doors for the glazed elements. They allow for larger glazed panels than bi-folding doors so there would be fewer bars to block the view when they were closed. They also meant we were able to use oak pillars, which wouldn’t have been possible with bi-folding doors.

The extension incorporates large soffits that house the lighting for the room. It was important for Sophie and Chris to have a television in the room but the obvious place for it would block the view. We designed a bespoke TV and audio unit that raises and lowers at the touch of a button. Sophie says: “It works really well and it’s a good seat too.”

Our first step after agreeing the design was to gain planning permission for the work. The house is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but it isn’t a listed building. Our design was a contemporary one but it was carefully scaled and made use of a clean design palette. By working closely with the local planning department and going through a Pre-Application Enquiry, the project was supported by the planning department and took a lot of stress out of the application process.

From there, we moved to Stage Two of our process – detailing the design and agreeing the price for the build. We had undertaken our value engineering process earlier on in the project to ensure we could deliver the build at a budget Sophie and Chris were comfortable with, without compromising the essential elements of their design. Once we received the tenders from the building contractors we had asked to bid for the work, we had the opportunity to review the costs again.

“We stuck to the budget that we wanted to. We got perhaps less than we thought we would get for it initially, but actually I think we’ve got a much better design now than if we had stuck with our original plan.”
Sophie

With the design and costs agreed, we moved to Stage Three – the build itself. Sophie, Chris and their family stayed on site for the six months it took. Sophie says the builders were very good but admits the process was tiring.

“It’s hard work having builders, even though they closed off the house.”
Sophie

We worked closely with Sophie, Chris and the builders throughout the build process. Sophie and Chris fully engaged with the design elements of the building work to ensure they chose items that would have meaning in their forever home. This included visiting the slate company to choose the slate for their tiles and fireplace and the manufacturers responsible for the sliding doors too. Chris in particular was also heavily involved with the lighting and audio elements.

The Outcome

“It’s just a great space that’s opened up the house and given us space and light.”
Sophie

Sophie and Chris are delighted with the results. It’s given them the welcoming, multi-functional space they wanted, where the entire family can spend time together and where they can also socialise with friends.

We all spend time in the one room. We can see the garden. We can see the view. We love it.

Sophie