Scalene Point

Merrell O'Flaherty Dormer Architects, Harrogate, 2018


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No. 38 is a typical Edwardian era property in Harrogate’s Duchy Conservation area.

Having ‘Arts and Crafts’ overtones, it is constructed of brick with render over, under steeply pitched slate roofs. Our clients commissioned us to create a relaxed living space that allows for year-round enjoyment of the garden.

The brief also required something that added drama and spoke of ‘now’ while simultaneously being a direct response to the host dwelling and a positive contribution to the conservation area.

The extension is a sculptural form derived from an abstraction of the existing building. Folded ‘origami’ plates reflect the pronounced pitched roof forms and prominent barge boards of the gables, generating a ‘fragmented’ appearance. The contrasting ‘black and white’ pattern, is also reflected in the materiality, with dark zinc contrasting with lightweight glazing below.

A double-faced brick wall forms the rear of the extension from which ‘hangs’ the sculptural garden room. This is similar to a traditional glasshouse structure associated with Edwardian dwellings. The brickwork also references the existing and adds warmth and texture without competing for attention with the building’s form. Taking inspiration from the ‘arts and crafts’ influence evident in the original house, we chose materials that elevate the skill and art of the designer and builder. In particular, both the form of the building and the inherent craftsmanship of the zinc detailing reference this.

A more intimate environment was created by lowering the floor level below that of the adjoining room. This defines the space while maintaining the spatial link.

It was important to integrate our design with the garden. Previously, a grass bank sloped down to the level lawn area in a similar manner to a bowling green. We chose to extend this to create a fluid plinth to the building.


  • Begun: Jul 2018
  • Completed: Dec 2018
  • Floor area: 30m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £85,282
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Apr 2018
  • Procurement: JCT Homeowner
  • Address: 38 Kent Road, Harrogate, United Kingdom

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