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Energy efficient retrofit home
We were approached by Lynn and Peng to help refurbish their 1960s detached home in Chelmsford. Although Chelmsford was a little further than we would typically cover, we were very keen to work with them as they seemed very knowledgeable and passionate about architecture and design.
The house itself had had various works carried out over the years, including extensions to the front and side of the house as well minor works such as the installation of secondary glazing. The initial meeting at the house highlighted that one major refurbishment was required to bring the house cohesively up to modern standards and to comply with the building regulations.
Working closely with the clients, we set about re-configuring the ground floor layout in a way that rationalised the spaces. So for example, the central space where all other ancillary spaces would flow from was turned into the living room, and as a result, we flipped the original living room with the kitchen and dining area. The extension to the side of the original building had been subdivided into two rooms, which we combined to form one large creative studio space where there would be wet media. A bespoke flip-out table was installed in the studio to allow an area where our clients could work at a comfortable height. Bespoke full height storage was also installed in the studio to allow for both open and closed shelving.
We sought to open the house to the garden as much as possible through large glazed sliding doors. This not only helped to maximise the natural light levels within the house, but also to create strong visual links between internal spaces and also between the interior and the exterior.
The original stairwell had a headroom height that was not compliant with current building regulations. It was also perhaps the darkest area in the house when we started the project. We redesigned the stair and punched a glazed opening in the exterior wall, so that the stairwell could be filled with natural light.
Other improvements included thermal retrofitting the house so that it was properly insulated. A smart home system was installed to improve the energy efficiency of the house by learning the habits and preferences of our clients.
The end result is a light and airy home whose internal spaces open to each other and to the external garden. In Lynn's own words:
"It (the project) was a mutual pleasure! A satisfying collaboration and a beautiful result, which I for one am enjoying greatly!"