This extension and re-jig of a listed house is located in the Scottish coastal village of Elie. The old end of terrace town house overlooks the beach and the sea, but its ground floor was a jumble of dark spaces. The new work involved taking away most of the ground floor structure of the three-storey house, demolishing a 20th century extension, and opening the living spaces up to the long narrow garden. The attractive street-facing side of the building was left untouched.
With the Sottish weather often standing in the way of being outdoors, the extension borrows a bit of garden which it encloses in glass under a simple flat canopy roof. Polished concrete benches push out in to the garden to blur the lines between inside and out. The middle of the house was opened up to let sunlight splash through to the new kitchen-living space. Meanwhile the front sitting room was remodeled as a library and TV snug.
The clients bought this early nineteenth century, B-listed townhouse because of its closeness to the beach to the south, but its north facing side was a hotch-potch of small rooms with small windows, was dark and disconnected to the long back garden.
WT Architecture’s brief was to create a light, usable kitchen-living space for a large family, that unlocked use of the garden, as well as trying to let some of the sparkling south light through the building to this new space.
A traditional sitting room on the south street side was undersued because of its disconnection to the kitchen, and a good connection between this and the new kitchen-living space was wanted.
To bring light right through the house, the architects took out some small spaces in the centre of the plan. A grid of new steel beams is hidden above a new lowered ceiling to support the first floor rooms. The whole house was temporarily propped up while the new steels were put in place.
A big pivot door provides a spacious opening between the kitchen living space and the old front sitting room, which has now been partly lines with new book shelves. This door lets south light through to the otherwise north-facing kitchen-living room.
Having a new consistent Dinesen floor over the whole ground floor helps the spaces flow in to each other, While the back north wall has been opened up the plan of the house has become quite deep so we introduced two roof lights above the extension to let shafts of light down in to the middle of the new space.