Woven Brick House

Doma Architects, Leeds, 2019


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Internal reconfiguration and rear extension to stone build Victorian villa in Leeds Conservation Area that floods the house with light and reconnects it with its garden

The front rooms of the house have the grandeur associated with a Victorian villa, however the rear felt small, fragmented and disconnected from the garden set a metre lower than the interior. Doma Architects were employed to bring life back into the rear of the house, creating a light filled family space with a direct link to a new terrace that steps down to the formerly detached garden. Useful ancillary spaces are hidden away.

The form is incredibly simple, a 2.5m wide box that extends the accommodation just enough without compromising the garden space. A single roof light spans the length of the main space bringing light deep into the plan. Interest comes in the material choice for the extension. The use of grey brick is intended to offer direct and obvious contrast to the original aged and blackened stone of the main house. Traditionally, brick was a cheaper construction material and in Victorian times was used in areas of a house that may have remained unseen, or for those areas that were not deemed to be of great importance.

Brick has a utilitarian appearance and is therefore an appropriate material choice for functional areas of a house. In this case, while offering a contemporary contrast to the original house, the brick also provides a subservient materiality that ensures the grandeur of the main house is respected and is appropriate considering the function of the spaces being extended.

The use of sawtooth faced bricks in addition to the standard flat face gives a texture to the proposal that aims to provide a relief to the flat brick and reflects the pitch faced stone of the existing. A brick wall runs from the interior to the garden. It provides a direct physical link between interior and exterior spaces, whilst also concealing the unsightly existing garage structure.

All photos ©️2019 Simon K. Allen


  • Begun: Oct 2018
  • Completed: Mar 2019
  • Floor area: 48m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £144,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jun 2019
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works Building Contract 2016
  • Address: Roundhay, Leeds, United Kingdom