Aaltspace, Bristol, 2019



Photography by Nick O'Neill     Download Original

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This Grade II -listed merchant's house in Bristol was designed in 1896 by Henry Dare Bryan

The house addressed the street handsomely but lacked connection with the rear garden. A narrow, low ceilinged washhouse and store projected functionally to the rear, blunting connection with the outside.

Aaltspace was asked to reconfigure the ground floor to improve garden access and the flow of rooms and functions to suit modern living for a family of five. Aaltspace proposed a new breakfast room off the open plan kitchen/dining area (completed as part of an earlier phase).

The room’s openings had been substantially altered over time. This allowed the cills to be dropped, opening this modest space to light and views. The roof was rebuilt and insulated and original clay tiles reused. The low ceiling and tied rafters were removed to improve the feeling of volume. The existing floor slab and foundations were retained, and walls rebuilt and thermally improved. The house’s main hot water services located in the existing store had to remain operational throughout. All aspects of the conversion and extension had to be designed and sequenced around them.

The extension’s form logically follows the pitch of the washhouse roof but in plan is widened to better engage with the garden. A utility room with a corner window, looks back towards the kitchen. The garden room with corner glazing finishes the extension with a flourish, its clerestory glazing strip tracking the sun. An uninterrupted view 25 meters long connects the new and old rooms together.

Internal materials include oak flooring and linoleum, painted plasterboard and oak detailing. Externally, open jointed vertical timber cladding is detailed around bespoke timber windows and doors. VM Zinc standing seam cladding and trims compliment the crisp detailing. Bath stone and render are used for the breakfast room.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was not provided.


  • Begun: Dec 2018
  • Completed: Aug 2019
  • Floor area: 40m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £160,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Oct 2018
  • Procurement: Design and Build - Collaboration between Aaltspace and main contractor Moon Architect and Builder
  • Address: Sneyd Park, Bristol, BS9, United Kingdom

Professional Team