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Remodelling and extension to Edwardian house on Hills Avenue, Cambridge

This Edwardian end of terrace had already been extend a decade earlier by a virtually independent 1.5 storeys high volume. Due to planning restrictions at the time, the height of the extension was governed by the existing eaves of the original building. This, combined with the generous ground floor ceiling height of the original house and the layout of the existing stairs, meant that the first floors of the extension and the house could not be integrated into the original design to work together so the two buildings could only be connected to each other at ground floor level.

State of Design were appointed to refurbish a considerable part of the original house and look at ways in which it could integrate bettwer with the extension.

During the design process, several opportunities were identified to achieve this. First, by increasing the height of the extension without compromising the street scene we were able to convert half of the 1.5 storey extension to a full 2 storey in a way that the planners were very happy to support since it did not compromise the street scene nor any existing relationship with the neighbours.

Secondly, following a close investigation of the roof of the original house, we identified a series of quirks in its structure which would allow us to narrowly but very comfortably create a transition point between the old and the new buildings.

Finally, by locally reconfiguring the top of the original Edwardian staircase and removing some light-weight partitioning on the first floor, we were able to identify a location where the transition between the two building could happen without interfering with already built steel components in the extension’s own roof which would have been uneconomical to relocate or dispose of.

These quirks and transformations were then celebrating by creating a series of architectural features within both buildings that not only make make them seamlessly work together as a whole but also bring in more light in areas which had never seen light before and open new internal and external views, further opening internal spaces to each-other and better integrating the house in its natural environment.

State of Design’s intervention resulted in the creation of an additional beautifully proportioned and airy bedroom and bathroom, new utility spaces and more efficient, generous and brighter circulation areas. By removing horizontal ceilings in critical areas, the appearance and feel of the first floor of the original house were also completely changed making the rooms feel much larger while also opening up new storage opportunities. Insulation was also improved substantially in all areas affected by the works meaning that the building is also more energy efficient than before.


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