Hesketh Ave

Didsbury, Manchester

The client had a clear vision for this beautiful Victorian house in East Didsbury, Greater Manchester. Typical for the period but unsuitable for a growing modern family’s needs, the house had grand reception rooms and a very small kitchen. Aside from this, at first floor level, there was only one bathroom and the client had two teenagers. In an unconscious nod to the work of Richard Rogers, the client was looking to move all of the service elements of the house to a ‘bolt on’ extension.

The house, the last in a row of Victorian semi-detached properties, had a four-metre wide, overshadowed and unused, side garden between their house and the apartment block adjacent. The clients felt this would be the perfect location for their extension.

Workshop Design Studio’s Peter Milburn Brown was immediately enthused by the concept and created a design purposely subservient to the existing front and rear facades.

The mass of the extension was separated with a glazed slot which provided corridor space at first floor level to access the two bathrooms and a new front ‘boot room’ entrance with w.c. adjacent on ground floor level. As well as this, the extension allowed for a beautiful new open-plan kitchen/dining space which merged seamlessly between old and new. Importantly, the glazed slot also allowed warm, natural light to penetrate between the existing house and the new extension, as well as into the rear, south-east facing garden later into the afternoon.

It was incredibly important to retain the character of the original building, its interiors and the client’s unique taste. The black engineering brick was purposely chosen because it featured within the existing facade as a detail and had Victorian heritage. Whilst appearing modern, it allowed the extension to slip into the shadows. 

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