In Victorian homes, conservatories were originally meant to be sources of light and connection with the outdoors. But what if they didn’t bring in enough light? In Dublin, Ireland, NOJI Architects designed an extension that replaced a Victorian home’s gloomy, old conservatory. Built out of plywood beams arranged in a diagonal grid form and filled with bespoke fittings by OIKOS Furniture, the extension houses an open-plan kitchen and dining area that is bathed in light.
In London’s Kensal Green, a run-down Victorian home was smartly modernized, while carefully preserving original architectural elements. The owners, a couple with small children, sought to bring openness into the cramped space, and create a bright and functional home for their family. The final result is a bright and modern dwelling which enables the family to live comfortably in just over 1,000 square feet.
Have you ever walked past a house on your way to work and thought, Wouldn’t it be nice to live there. Artist Judith Brenner did. But unlike most of us, Judith loved the house so much that, in July 2002, she and her husband, Jonathan, took things a step further by phoning the owners and making an offer. Before they knew it, the Brenners were holding the keys to the front door, and moving their three young children into the double-fronted Victorian in Richmond, just outside of London. Architect Gregory Phillips connected the original house to a new modern extension that doesn’t interfere with the surrounding houses. “I try to be true to the location,”he explains, “so it doesn’t seem like some spaceship has landed.”
In Hackney, East London, Cousins & Cousins Architects transformed a Victorian home, crafting an addition that is both inconspicuous and transformative. The extension, which houses a dining room on its first floor and a bedroom on its second, was built using bricks and windows repurposed from an earlier demolition. The most noticeable update is the addition's lower level, which features two floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
How do you get direct northern light into a dark Victorian house on a south-facing lot? MAKE Architects accomplished the task in the Northcote neighborhood of Melbourne by adding an M-shaped addition that draws the sun deep into the dwelling. "The living spaces are now bathed in light in winter and the deep timber lined eave excludes the summer sun,” lead architect Melissa Bright says.