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Retrofit house in Cheam, London


An arts and crafts house and its ‘granny annexe’ are consolidated and extended to provide a generous, light-filled home for a growing family


Project Type:

A residential 

refurbishment and extension 

Project Status:

In progress

This large family home in Cheam has been extended in piecemeal fashion, turning what was once a delightful 1920's arts and crafts home into a collection of quite dark disjointed spaces at the ground floor. The main extension of the property was undertaken to provide a self-contained residential annexe with its own kitchen bathroom and living spaces. The whole house, although partially refurbished in the 1990s, suffers terribly from a lack of insulation, resulting in extremes of temperature throughout the year.

Our brief was to consolidate the main house and the annexe, while also extending slightly into the garden to provide large, open spaces for family use. Alongside the reconfiguration of the ground floor, we were asked to improve the upper storey by providing a master bedroom with ensuite dressing and bathrooms.


Due to the house’s temperature control issues; and to improve upon the sustainability of the property, our clients asked us to complete these works while adhering to PassivHaus principles – at least as closely as one can in a refurbishment project.



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The existing Arts and Crafts style entrance porch 

Proposed and existing ground floor plans

The main changes to the house all centre around a new, open plan kitchen diner to the rear of the house. This space has been carved out of the existing house to provide a much larger, light filled room that acts as the heart of the home.


Along the back of the house, adjacent to the kitchen diner, runs a new brick arcade. This arcade provides rhythm and rigour to the house when viewed from outside, while providing protection to the large glazed openings that flood the space with morning light.


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Proposed and existing rear garden elevations

Following the arcade along the back of the house, one passes through the old annexe wall and into  a newly refurbished living area with direct views to a garden that is perfect for entertaining. At the front of the property there is a casual, cosy sitting room, whose proportions fit more in line with the existing lounge and study.

These key living spaces are flanked at the southern end of the house by a new gym, complete with WCs and shower room that also serve the garden’s swimming pool. To the north of the building are a utility room, craft room and garage. These spaces are all accessed via an axis that runs the whole length of the house, spanning the previously disconnected extensions and stitching the house back together.


These changes will turn the house from a series of disparate spaces, into a generous, sustainable family home with plenty of room to entertain and grow.

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