Sustainable Extension Transforms BakerBrown . Transformed Formulation
The clinic’s latest project is the conversion of a tall, low, gabled house in the south of England.
The original structure was once a village building, making all kinds of metal goods for farmers and local businesses. It was later converted into a home and the surrounding neighborhood was upgraded to a conservation area.
Clients contacted BakerBrown with the intent of creating a better relationship between the house and its garden, at 90 degrees relative to the original structure.
The architects also had to update the original masonry building. Built in the period between insulation and adequate moisture insulation, its operation became uneconomical.
The primary change is to create an extension that extends into the walled garden, transforming a modest sunroom into a large open plan kitchen and dining room. A new pitched red zinc roof graces the extension, providing solar shading for the glazing.
The main building has been heated to radically improve its ability to retain heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.
On the outside, a new rain barrier was made of locally sourced sweet chestnut, which increased the building’s thermal performance.
The original boiler was replaced by a heat pump; Although floor area was increased by about 40 percent, the combination of more efficient heat generation and better insulation reduced the property’s energy consumption.
All design details are carefully considered with energy savings in mind. The polished concrete floor slab in the extension acts as a heat sink, drawing warmth from the glazing in winter. Sustainable birch plywood is used for the kitchen, roofing, and carpentry, and is lightly oiled to reflect light, while traditional local elements such as the original flint wall are preserved and displayed.
Established by Duncan Baker-Brown in 1994, the studio is based in East Sussex, working frequently with local forms, existing buildings and conversions. Previous projects include The Waste House – made, as the name suggests, from waste; The House That Kevin built, is prefabricated using 90 per cent biomaterials and the first EPC A* rated house in the UK. In 2017, BakerBrown authored The Atlas of Reuse: A Designer’s Guide to the Circular Economy, a groundbreaking book that looks at how architects make better use of limited resources. §