ARCH-angels Dream Design

The challenge: transforming a traditional City centre bungalow into the perfect home. ARCH-angels architects take us through the project

THE BRIEF: The client came to ARCH-angels with a drawing of a modern white ‘box’ with an Art Deco/Bauhaus influence, as he did not want anything traditional. He explained that he wanted a house of its time that looked different from anything else, and he wanted it to be built with modern materials, with lots of glass to emphasise the views.

THE CHALLENGE: The proposal involved demolishing the roof of the existing bungalow and adding two floors above. This three-storey house with hints of Bauhaus style, its clean lines, expansive glazing and flat roof opening up to stunning views towards the sea, makes a significant statement amidst the street of 1930s-style architecture. It was important for the client to maximise the views to the south and west, and this was achieved with a flat terrace roof, perceptively designed through a series of steps. The glazing visually connects the house to the garden and opens out on the first floor with a dual aspect view in the living room area. This offers an elevated outlook over the garden and across Brighton.

Although this project was an extension of an existing dwelling, the contractor and the architect worked very closely together to implement cost-effective, sustainable methods of construction, with the aim of achieving a code 4 rating. However, the Code for Sustainable Homes is not a requirement on this form of construction.

Concerns over the stress and strain of the timber frame through moisture and exposure to the elements due to its position on a steep hill resulted in double battening on the outside, with flashing and rail detailing to produce effective sealing and weather-tightness. High levels of insulation were carefully installed, ensuring a good level of air-tightness.

OUR COLLABORATION: There was an excellent working relationship between client and architect, with an emphasis on collaborative working. The contracting and design team worked on practically resolving issues as they presented themselves. A highlight of the project includes the staircase design, which is particularly unusual. It has become an outstanding feature of the building as it sits within a glazed tower projecting into the landscape, flooding the interior with daylight.

THE DETAIL: The two-storey “extension” has produced a contemporary house with flat roofs at different levels and three terraces that step back and in on two floors for enjoying fantastic far-reaching views over Brighton, the sea and the South Downs. Due to the site’s gradient, ARCH- angels responded by planning an “upside down house” with elevated living on the first floor, floor-to-ceiling windows to soak up the views and terraces to the front and rear. A second floor “pod” houses a bedroom and en-suite, with a third wrap-around terrace, and the white rendered finish emphasises the geometric shape of the house and its references to Modernist architecture.

The stairwell at the rear of the house is so much more than a practical solution, bringing aesthetic interest to the design, with varying roof heights showing how the idea of a contemporary box design can be pushed into a more visually interesting outcome. Juliet balconies on the front elevation enhance the appearance of the floor-to-ceiling glazing, with the brick slip cladding making a feature on the front façade. This emphasised the vertical form and references the bay windows of the local surrounds, which was a local planning requirement.

Dual aspect views in the living room area offer an elevated outlook over the back garden and also across Brighton, with the wood burner forming a central focal point in the room. The dining area has more space than the original design as the planners asked for the terrace to be halved and replaced with windows to reference the local vernacular. Two of the bedrooms look out onto the garden, where there were already mature trees and shrubs keeping the house private from neighbours at the back.

THE RESULT: The overall design response has been hugely successful in meeting the client’s brief, the challenges of the site and the planning conditions. ARCH-angels Architects have produced an elegant home which sits within its environment in a responsive way and articulates a particular visualnarrative,acompletetransformationfromtheoriginalbungalow.

Client Testimonial:

“My project was an ambitious conversion of a dated bungalow, into a contemporary five bedroom home. With the help of ARCH-angels Architects, this vision was delivered to create an inverted house that fully utilised the tight plot, and encompassed the panoramic views. From design, planning and build, ARCH-angels ensured the house was built to highest specification, with clever design ideas, and thoughtful layout.”

For information and advice about your dream project contact ARCH-angels Architects 3, Dorset Place, Brighton BN2 1ST. 01273267184|