Charred House

Rider Stirland Architects, London, 2020



Photography by Adam Scott     Download Original

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The replacement of a cold and unloved closet wing with a warm and characterful extension - enabling open plan living for a growing family

Much more than a simple extension, Charred House has been completely reconfigured and renovated at ground floor level, delivering changes that make a huge difference to the quality and enjoyment of life in the house.

Internal spaces are now linked in a way that better suits modern living, and benefit from a strong connection to the rear garden, through an oriel window and glazed pivot door. Material choices are warm and tactile to create a relaxed and comfortable ambience. Externally, the extension is carefully composed so that the two-storey element follows the natural rhythm of the terrace, with stock brickwork referencing existing materials, charred timber offering a welcome counterpoint, and gold flashings adding a touch of personality.

Connection to the garden is now immediate, and has led to more time spent outside – playing, relaxing, and planting. Inside, the dynamics of family life have been enhanced through being able to cook, play and eat all in the same space, with the flexibility to separate off the living room as desired. Thermal performance has been significantly improved, with the first floor study benefitting in particular, and becoming a significant asset through lockdown.

With a net construction cost below £1,750/m2, the project delivers exceptional value, and demonstrates that a large extension is not necessary to make a big difference to the quality of life within a home – the net addition being just 9sqm.

Annual CO2 emissions data was not provided.


  • Begun: May 2019
  • Completed: Mar 2020
  • Floor area: 162m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £158,500
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Oct 2018
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: Brockley, London, SE13, United Kingdom

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