Architect: A449 Architects

Key Aims and Objectives

Our project at Rosefield Avenue Lane is a refurbishment and extension in the conservation area of Portobello. The existing building was converted from a small stable/ coach house in the mid 1980’s to form a one bedroom dwelling. Our project sought to save this deteriorating property and sympathetically extend it to secure its future as a desirable family home for generations to come.


Site and Context

Respecting the character of the building was a priority and we aimed to minimise alterations to the principal elevation by retaining as much of the existing massing and working with existing
openings as much as was reasonably practical. Ground floor levels and the limitations that would be placed on the internal layout prohibited the use of the existing garage door as a new entrance so we reinstated the original opening on south west elevation to createa new front door. Principal rooms are accessed from this central hallway, and allow the building to work efficiently in plan and section, making the most of the narrow and low existing building.


Approach and Execution

Materiality was also a key consideration, and we wanted to retain as much brickwork in the new design as possible. We carefully demolished and rebuilt the south east wall to ensure its structural integrity and physically tie it into the new extension. We chose timber cladding to distinguish new elements whilst paying reference to the original stable doors which would have formed a large portion of the existing elevation.

The decision to char the timber was functional to increase the longevity of the larch, but it also loosely reflects historical use of the site by a coal merchant. Subtle insertions of matching timber within the existing elevation further harmonises the new and the old and contributes to the
building being read as a considered whole.

Future Proofing

The extension envelope exceeds building regulation requirements but the key aim was to significantly improve the thermal performance of the existing masonry building. To achieve this we built a highly insulated timber kit within the stripped out shell to ensure thermal and necessary structural integrity. Underfloor heating throughout and an intelligent app controlled heating system allows the building to learn from it's occupants, leading to substantial efficiencies in running costs.