Courtyard Extension, Bath

Mark Wray Architects, Bath, 2012


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  • View to south    
  • Kitchen    
  • Evening view    
  • Courtyard    
  • View to north    
  • Cloister    
  • Dining area    
  • Dining area    
  • Shower room    
  • Wall detail    
  • Floor detail    
  • Evening view    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Long section    
  • Existing ground floor plan    
  • Before    
  • Before    
  • Site during construction     
  • Section detail    
  • Section detail    

Oak framed extension to a Grade II listed Georgian former artisan cottage in the heart of Bath

Inspired by the traditional courtyard houses of the Middle and Far East, this rear extension avoids the standard build-out response and instead wraps around the perimeter of the walled garden that measures just 9 x 5m. This allows the redistribution of all the principle living accommodation around the small paved courtyard, each afforded a direct connection. The external space acts as a private sanctuary away from the city and becomes an amphitheatre for family activities. Espalier fruit trees planted along the east wall allow the passing of the seasons to be witnessed.

Contrasting with the solidity of the surrounding Bath stone, the peg jointed post and beam oak frame of the new structure, covered with natural clay tiling, is inset with sliding and hinged doors to create an open, cloister-like form. The economic and restrained palette of materials and simple plan-form is designed to share an affinity with the original two-up two-down 1840 artisan's building it adjoins.

The ground floor front room to the existing house is reconfigured for use as a study and occasional bedroom for elderly relatives, served by the shower room tucked into the corner of the new structure.

Site access was restricted and all construction material came in and out of the front door. The family remained in occupation throughout the 14 week construction period.


  • Begun: Jul 2012
  • Completed: Oct 2012
  • Floor area: 25m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £65,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Apr 2012
  • Procurement: JCT Homeowner
  • CO2 Emissions: -kg/m2/year
  • Address: Widcombe, Bath, BA2, United Kingdom

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