Sunset House

GTM Architect, Leeds, 2015

 

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The transformation of a 1930s semi-detached house into a home for a parent and child

The brief was to transform a 1930s semi-detached bungalow, of four small, damp rooms and low ceilings, north facing and dug into the hill - on a budget of less than £1000/m2.

Three goals guided the project: first, to open up and lift the interior spaces, without altering the roof line to the street; second, create an entry hall and change a badly located stair and third, working the panoramic view of park and woodlands to the west.

Early design sketches were done while travelling in Mexico and take inspiration from the courtyard houses of the area.

The minimal budget went on sculpting the spaces, rather than expensive finishes. This included removing the two northerly rooms, to extend over an unusable driveway, and sliding the kitchen north to leave space for a hallway and a new stair.

Ceilings were opened up with contrasting colours to accentuate the new planes. Rooflights and mirrors over the dining/kitchen space gather sun all year, and make this one of the brightest areas.

Floors were dropped at both levels to the rear. With the existing bedroom window now higher in relation to the floor, the eye is drawn up to the sky and the wooded ridge, making the room feel bigger. This upwards looking gesture has carried through to the design of the attic where a long dormer window, constructed to span both houses, is capped by a rooflight aligning with the eucalyptus in the neighbour's garden and edged with a mirror to give the illusion of views in a third direction.

A deck to the rear bridges the two houses echoing the dormer link.

Data

  • Completed: May 2015
  • Floor area: 87m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £85,000
  • Funding: Self funded and partly self built
  • Procurement: JCT Minor works
  • Address: 15 Sunset Road, Leeds, LS6 4LS, United Kingdom

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