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Woodland Pavilion, London


A new pavilion style extension mediates between a grand Victorian Villa and a woodland nature reserve

Project Type:

Residential refurbishment and ground floor rear extension

Project Status:



© Richard Chivers

This imposing late Victorian detached villa is set within a conservation area in South London. It sits within a curved row of similar style houses that front onto a now disused railway line that has since been repurposed as a community nature trail and woodland.

The house benefits from a large garden set against the woodland backdrop but the original layout did little to address the benefits of this setting, instead placing preference on the formal reception rooms facing the street. The client looked to us to help re-engage the house with the garden.


Ruskin Park through the seasons


Final design idea sketch

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Window seat detail

Our proposal sought to reconfigure the layout to the back of the house and create a new extended space that would make the most of the grandeur of this Victorian setting. The reconfigured ground floor layout provides an open plan family space with three zones – cooking, relaxing and dining with a transparent fluidity between the inside, whilst a new master bedroom suite at the first floor overlooks the garden.

The new extension addresses the garden utilising the same yellow London brick and flemish brick bonding as the existing house, but seeks to achieve a standalone architectural pavilion quality through an interplay of offset and contrasting volumes.

A cantilevered brick arm rests over a white window box, which in turn sits upon a brick plinth forming a set of external seating benches. The asymmetrical projecting window box has a deeply framed reveal to form an internal reading seat whilst the cantilevered brick arm forms a canopy over the external brick bench. The overall effect provides a visually dynamic garden pavilion when viewed from various angles, but also acts like a piece of integral furniture where the family can literally inhabit the many facets of this piece of architecture both inside and out.

The lofty ceiling height within the existing house affords the opportunity to extend the height into the pavilion, introducing large full height sliding glazed doors to the garden and incorporating a large structural glazed roof light within the brick cantilevered arm to maximise daylight and enable views up to the sky and tree canopy.

The combined effect creates a Victorian house with its grand and formal frontage and an equally dignified and multifaceted new addition to the rear that makes the most of the woodland setting.

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