NORD’s aim was to increase the accommodation in a typical inter-war, converted bungalow in a manner befitting the site, street (a conservation area), family-client and strict planning regulations. Previous, ad-hoc additions had left a legacy of inefficient plot use, a complex and vulnerable roof form and a building whose history of development was illegible. An element of formal restraint was appropriate in the context and, whilst the project was not extensive in scope, it represented an excellent opportunity to re-assess a common conversion typology. Dormers required careful detailing particularly because of their large scale, dictated by a single original to front and rear.
Extensive local study and consultation with the Planning Authority resulted in a subtle but significant shift in the application of planning guidelines, allowing for an extension which is neither set back nor down from the original building. Interventions are legible through detail and material, rather than simply in form resulting in a holistic and efficient piece of architecture rather than a further piecemeal add-on. A monochrome palette and simple detailing defers to the brick, render and rosemary tiling of the original building (which is clearly read), without subservience (a further, hard-fought, shift of the guidelines), again allowing for a singular, clear expression.
The approach was to consolidate, rationalise and complement the existing accommodation with an architecture of rigour and confidence. New additions read assertively with the original house allowing the completed building to read as a whole, whilst the history of development is clearly legible. Internally there is a reversion to simplicity in new elements. Fixed glazing with frames recessed is allied to flush skirting and facing details to create a crisp and clutter-free backdrop to a young family’s many necessities. A vent panel serves each bedroom, doubling as escape provision whilst a feature light here functions in place of a pendant in the low ceiling and along with the deep window cills form what is akin to a piece of fixed furniture to each room.
Downstairs a new en-suite affords privacy to guest accommodation for those less mobile and a new skylight and fixed cabinetry piece brings light into the existing kitchen. Whilst in many ways this is a quiet development, both formally and in scope, the detailing is consciously bold and clear and the scheme marks a subtle but significant evolution in the application of planning guidelines in this Conservation Area.Location: Glasgow, UK Architects: NORD Architecture Project name: Westbourne Drive
Photos: Gillian Hayes