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Kenworthy Road

Chris Dyson Architects

Project Name

Kenworthy Road

Project Status


Year Completed



  • Civil Engineer: Ward Cole
  • General Contractor: Bespoke Homes

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Project Description


Expanding a cramped three-bedroom Victorian end of terrace house for a growing family, adding two bedrooms, a bathroom and a light, bright and spacious family kitchen and dining room.

The existing narrow closet wing was demolished and rebuilt as a lightweight, highly insulated timber frame construction and the entrance to the house relocated to the centre of the plan, freeing up the previous entry position to be used as an entry level WC. A double-height glazed screen indicates the new entry point and gives a clear visual separation between the old part of the house and the new as well as providing a dramatic entry into the heart of the house. The extension was clad with charred cedar boards, a Japanese technique known as Shou Sugi Ban that extends the life of the timber cladding and gives excellent additional resistance to insect attack, decay and fire. A loft conversion clad in the same material completes the extension of the accommodation. The charred cedar is a beautiful material that complements the Victorian brickwork of the surrounding context and gives the extension a firm legibility as a modern intervention. In the upper floor bedrooms, the ceiling follows the pitch of the roof giving the bedrooms additional height and volume and large format windows flood the rooms with light.

Constructing the extension from timber kept costs down and reduced load on the foundations allowing costs associated with structure and groundworks to be kept low. Packing insulation into the timber frame allowed us to achieve excellent thermal performance, far outweighing the performance of the previous structure. Underfloor heating below a thin resin finish gives excellent response times and evenly heats the floors above.

The finished building provided the family with exactly what they needed; large, bright bedrooms for the whole family; a large family kitchen with breakfast and dining area that opens up into the garden with full width bi-folding doors; and a striking, modern piece of architecture that complements the existing building and lifts the spirits of the occupants.
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