Artists Studio & Garden Room, Hertfordshire

The artist in this case was Fiona’s father who was seeking a suitably light and airy space at the back of the house as a painting studio.  Fionas father and mother also both wanted a dining room large enough to accommodate all the family including grandchildren for celebratory meals and so this was planned as a single flexible space where the easels and paints could be moved aside when required.

The existing house was built in the 1950s and the rear of the house faced east, with a lovely view out over the garden to open fields beyond.  The new extension responds to the orientation with a solid wall towards the boundary shielding direct sunlight from the south, with a mono-pitch roof rising up towards the north.  This layout means that the extension is mostly lit by even, northerly indirect light, which is good for painting.  The most open corner of the extension looks out into the most open part of the existing view.

The extension was completely timber framed and designed to be prefabricated by a local joinery company.  The solid parts of the walls, floor and roof were sufficiently well insulated for building control to allow the larger areas of glazing.  Foundations were formed with four simple concrete pads, with plinths to support the timber frame formed using concrete blocks.

The extension was relatively economic to build and was very well used by the family for its intended purpose from its completion in 2000 until the house was sold in 2018.