St Albans Bungalow

Cherry Architects, St Albans, 2021

 

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All photographs Megan Taylor     Download Original

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A reimagining of a suburban 1960s bungalow into a modern family home, characterised by a playful use of natural low-cost materials, tall light-filled spaces and integrated plywood storage to showcase the clients’ African art, fashion and record collection

The clients, looking to downsize from their large townhouse, wanted the bungalow to feel as spacious as possible. The roof pitch was exposed to create a double-height space in the centre of the house, adding a perception of space; a more cost-effective and sustainable solution than extending the building’s footprint.

Sustainable measures have been employed throughout, such as enhanced insulation within existing walls, smart home controls, underfloor heating and use of natural materials such as cork flooring. To maximise the limited floorplan, the original hallway was removed and its space incorporated into habitable rooms. This meant relocating the original central entrance hall into the garage at the side of the bungalow. While the previous entrance was modest and hard to read, a change in materiality (larch and aluminium) draws eyes towards the new feature entrance.

An open-plan layout, the living room and kitchen operate together for large gatherings and independently when the glazed sliding doors are closed. Large areas of aluminium-framed glazing allow the clients to look outwards towards the St Albans countryside throughout the ground floor.

Three bedrooms are tucked away downstairs through a private door next to the stairs, while the main bedroom suite is ceremoniously entered up a beautifully crafted plywood staircase; a panoramic screen in the dressing room provides views down into the double-height living area and also outwards through the aligned rooflights towards the local countryside and to London beyond.

Externally, the bungalow conversion has been completely modernised with larch cladding and render, broken up by dark aluminium and glazing.

Annual CO2 data was not provided

Data

  • Begun: Aug 2020
  • Completed: Feb 2021
  • Floor area: 151m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £220,000
  • Tender date: Jun 2020
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: St Albans, AL1 2, United Kingdom

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