Individual House Improvement Award

Winner: Murray Road, Wimbledon. Entrant: L2i

In association with
Giles & Pike’s refurbishment included a complete replacement of the floor to ceiling glazing, which sits behind the modernist house’s distinctive portal frame.
Giles & Pike’s refurbishment included a complete replacement of the floor to ceiling glazing, which sits behind the modernist house’s distinctive portal frame. Credit: Logan Photography

Designed by Peter Foggo and David Thomas in 1963, this modernist house has been comprehensively renovated and extended by Giles & Pike Architects.

Located in Wimbledon Village, the one-storey property was in a poor state of repair and had accumulated several unsympathetic extensions over the years. A key change was the replacement of the floor-to-ceiling glazing, which sat behind the house’s distinctive exposed, reinforced concrete portal frame.

‘Our remit was minimalist elegant lines behind the concrete structure, and as much glass as we could achieve,’ says Lawrence Goodall, managing director of specialist contractor L2i.

‘The challenge was that the building wasn’t very square, so we had to fit our installation with a bit more tolerance than usual,’ he adds.

Schueco AWS 65 flush bonded fixed windows were used, replacing the original chunkier, dark timber window frames. 

As well as creating a much more efficient thermal envelope, says Goodall, the effect is to highlight the concrete frame and open up the house more to the garden through the incorporation of Schueco ASS 50.SI sliding slim line doors. These replaced the fixed or side-hung originals. 

The same aluminium system was used on the new side extension. 

Designed to complement the modernist original, this incorporates both sliding doors and Schueco AWS 70 structurally bonded, top hung, opening windows.

‘The glazing is the common language that pulls it all together,’ says architect Matt Giles, director at Giles & Pike, the practice that led the refurbishment.

Judges enjoyed the ‘high quality’ and ‘seamless’ introduction of the new glazing within the modernist residence.  

‘It brings a historic building back to life while keeping the original architectural ethos alive,’ says Pankaj Patel.

‘It’s a building that relies on high quality glazing for its impact,’ adds Eleanor Young.

Giles & Pike describes the project as bringing a 21st century twist to an iconic 1960s design. As well as the new glazing and extension, the renovation stripped the building back to its frame in order to renovate the structure and create a new interior arrangement and refit. 

  • A new side extension replaces unsympathetic earlier additions.
    A new side extension replaces unsympathetic earlier additions. Credit: Logan Photography
  • Rear view, showing the slimmer line Schueco system that replaced the chunkier timber originals.
    Rear view, showing the slimmer line Schueco system that replaced the chunkier timber originals. Credit: Logan Photography
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The house was one of four single-storey properties designed by Foggo and Thomas in Wimbledon and is believed to have been partly inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion and Farmsworth House.


Client: Confidential

Architect: Giles & Pike Architects

Structural engineer: Timothy George

Main contractor: Horizon Developments

Specialist contractor: L2i


 

Commended 

Hackney House, London
Entrant: CCASA Architects


 

  • Credit: Mark Weeks
  • Credit: Mark Weeks
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CCASA’s extension to a single storey apartment in Hackney focused on bringing natural light into the north-facing 19th century property.

Previously, a rear kitchen had limited views into the garden. The architect relocated the kitchen to a new side extension and installed 2.4m-high Schueco ASS 50 slim-line system straight sliding doors. These flood the living room with light and establish a direct connection to the garden. They were preferred over bi-folding doors because of their slim profile.

The kitchen, which has a sloping glass roof, uses the same Schueco doors, designed to slide into a hidden pocket in the cavity wall.

‘It doesn’t intrude into the space but slides away so that in summer everything is more open. It feels as if you’re actually cooking in the garden,’ says CCASA’s Christian Clemares, who is both architect and joint-client.

By setting the glass back from the rear extension, the practice aimed to retain the visual presence and proportion of the original rear elevation facade.

Another important move was the creation of a small internal patio at the rear of the kitchen to give light and ventilation to the adjacent rooms. Again, 2.1m high Schueco ASS 50 doors slide into a concealed pocket.

‘Schueco worked very well within the budget we had and the functions we wanted to achieve,’ says Clemares.

The increased levels of natural light are amplified by the interior decoration, which is all white except for a bright yellow column.

Judges appreciated the way the extension had improved connections with the garden.

‘It’s a great demonstration of a very liveable, human-scale interior on a really tight budget,’ says Steven Kennedy.


Client: Eric Petitfils and Christian Clemares

Architect: CCASA Architects

Structural engineer: Blackwells Structural Consultants

Main contractor: Builders by Design

Specialist contractor: Alco Glass Systems


Commended 

Victorian Remix, Clapham, London
Entrant: Guarnieri Architects


 

Credit: Stefano Graziani

Guarnieri Architects named this extension and refurbishment Victorian Remix – ‘like a DJ rearranging old records into a contemporary music performance’.

The practice extensively reworked the late Victorian house at Clapham Common, creating a new basement with a pool and a stunning 6 metre high rear extension.

The glass box floods light into the lower two levels and complements the new open plan layout of the ground floor. It also opens up the house to the garden via a Schueco ASS 70 lift-and-slide door. This forms one of four 3m x 2.5m panels on the elevation of the extension. The other three are fixed structural glass.

Guarnieri Architects chose the Schueco system because of its ability to integrate into the design of the minimalist glass structure, which contrasts strongly with the original house.

‘We weren’t interested in breaking records of thinness of frame – we chose Schueco because of the adaptability of the system that allowed us to do what we wanted to do,’ says Marco Guarnieri.

The practice collaborated closely with specialist subcontractor Cantifix on the corner detail. The slam post of the Schueco system is sunk into the glazing unit with only its outer sheet of glass protruding to form a thin corner detail together with an angle plate. The design also neatly blends the Schueco sliding door in with the rest of the structure when open or closed.

‘It looks effortless, but deep down it’s very complex,’ says Guarnieri.

Judges enjoyed the boldness of the contemporary addition.

‘It brings a cube of light into it. A lovely contrast, incredibly elegantly detailed,’ says Pankaj Patel


Client: Confidential

Architect: Guarnieri Architects

Structural engineer: Malishev Engineers

Main contractor: Famella

Specialist contractor: Cantifix

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