Crouch End Extension

Giles Reid Architects, London, 2019


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The site sits adjacent the Crouch End Parkland Walk, a tree lined pedestrian and cycle route. The brief was to design a side extension to replace a dilapidated conservatory

The aim was to give the house a new more generous well-lit living space, accessed off the kitchen, improving the house’s connection to its garden. The new extension is also used occasionally as a yoga studio. The site is in a conservation area. From a planning perspective, the aim was to keep the extension low to the existing fence and discrete from the street.

A second key constraint was the large beech tree growing close to the house. The proposal was to create a lightweight timber structure, sitting upon the reused foundation of the existing conservatory. This would avoid the risk of harming the tree’s roots from excavation or piling. The plan is a ‘perfect square’, with columns in each of the four corners. Each side is then divided into three equal bays, with intermediate columns set out at the 2/3rd points. A deep central ridge connects two of these third points on a diagonal line, creating an axis from the existing kitchen door to the garden’s side entrance gate. Down the two side elevations are sliding glass doors, also divided into three.

Structural frame, sliding doors and cladding to the end walls are in douglas fir, with a hand oiled finish. Floor, end walls and roof are heavily insulated. The design was refined in close collaboration with specialist timber frame contractor Emanuelhendry ltd. The building was prefabricated off site in their workshop. It was then dismantled into large pieces, brought to site on a truck and craned into place a single morning. The roof framing, cladding and enclosure was completed over a two-week period in winter.

Photography by Peter Cook


  • Begun: Sep 2019
  • Completed: Dec 2019
  • Floor area: 30m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £135,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Nov 2018
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works with CDP
  • Address: Crouch End, London, N8, United Kingdom

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