Crossgate Peth

Dixon Dawson Chartered Architects, Durham, 0



All photographs Luke Leung + James Longfield     Download Original

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This extension to a Victorian semi-detached family home provides new living spaces that open up the rear of the house to stepping patios and sloping gardens.

The house is situated close to the city centre of Durham, in proximity to the Unesco World Heritage Site and with views of the cathedral,

The full-width open-plan space is anchored by two geometric red-brick forms constructed in imperial sized brickwork to match that on the existing house. Between, large areas of light bronze framed glazing are broken up by a vertically proportioned rhythm of steel columns, clad in FSC-certified Iroko timber to create deep reveals. Shadow gap connections reveal the decorative nature of the timber, used to create a tangible and inhabitable threshold between internal and external space.

The first brick form hosts a fire and chimney stack to book-end the space. The second, a curved brick drum, sits on the axis of the house and forms an exedra to the open-plan living space. Polyvalent in its abstracted geometry, it offers potential as either a visual focal point or an alcove for retreat during larger social gatherings, centrally positioned yet a space for whispered intimacies.

The exposed construction acknowledges and celebrates the hand of the maker. Typically prosaic materials of CLS joists, hangers and steelwork with exposed markings sit alongside handmade bricks, rich hardwood and thick Indian sandstone flags, the combination given coherence through careful setting out and precisely articulated junctions.

The material palette embraces shadow, weight and texture to give the extension an unapologetic presence that integrates with the historic property, the material richness adding a respectful and complementary layer to the timelessness of Durham.

Annual CO2 data was not provided


  • Begun: 2021
  • Floor area: 70m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £210,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Mar 2020
  • Procurement: Design and build
  • Address: Durham, DH1, United Kingdom

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