'Hidden Extension', North Road

Daintree Design, Brighton, 2018


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Daintree Design     Download Original

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The project site for this single storey extension, located within a conservation area, was a small open triangle of garden space adjacent to the client’s end-of-terrace property.

This small garden area was essentially ‘dead space’ and offered far more potential than the lean-to bike shed and bin store originally occupying the area when Daintree Design was appointed.

The space provided the opportunity for something unique within the conservation area; a side extension in quite a prominent position.

The planning department’s suggestion of a ‘traditional’ extension with pitched roof was explored but seemed at odds with the conservation area; creating a bulkier addition and far less usable floor area for the homeowners. The proposal, therefore, was to maximise the potential footprint, taking the extension right up to the boundary with the highway. With garden walls a feature in the immediate locality, the way forward became clear: create a ‘hidden’ extension disguised as a garden wall.

The site levels lent themselves to this by allowing a semi-sunken extension that would appear no higher than neighbouring boundary fences and walls externally, while matching existing floor and ceiling levels internally.

The new internal spaces provide a comfortable family kitchen that opens into a dining and family room, as well as the creation of a downstairs WC and a coats/shoes recess, providing much-needed storage.

A small courtyard to the rear provides a new outlook from the extended kitchen into the main garden area.

The success of the project from the client’s perspective is the seamless integration of new and enlarged facilities, the provision of more natural light and increased function. From an architectural perspective, the project’s success lies in its use of the space available and its inconspicuousness within the conservation area.


  • Begun: Jul 2018
  • Completed: Nov 2018
  • Floor area: 13m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £70,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jan 2018
  • Address: Tower Point, Brighton, BN1 1YR, United Kingdom

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