This project for clients Paul Gough and Julie Dent was another ingenious garden room extension from the stable of Richard Murphy Architects.
The practice for a number years now has resisted jobs of this small a scale for very basic financial reasons. Occasionally, perhaps through past association with the client, the odd one still creeps through the net, this being one of those.
Each time it happens the result merits the question why stop designing on this scale? And it is to be hoped that the practice might find itself one day financially secure enough to indulge itself.
Not only have many of its awards been won for these sorts of jobs but so many innovations have been tried and tested on them. Many of the RMA trademark details were perfected on these jobs and many new young architects have been blooded on them.
This project at 18 Seton Place comprises a garden room extension. As well as providing a new contemporary living space it also punches its way back into the main house. The rear wall was slapped through. A small corridor leading to the back door and a WC were also demolished allowing the kitchen to be opened outwards to face the back garden and also provided a new dining space within the plan of the existing house.
The site sloped quite steeply from the rear of the house and concrete steps once leading down from the back door were also demolished. The sloping ground provided a great opportunity to step each of the new spaces down towards the back.
The existing kitchen now overlooks the new dining space and the garden room and garden beyond. The dining area, nestling beneath the kitchen, also overlooks the garden room which opens onto a patio area which itself steps down to the garden level below.
The extension, like projects at Tantallon Place, Gilmour Road and Strathearn Road has an expressed steel structure. Clerestory glazing makes the lead covered roof appear to float free and sliding glazing, in fine RMA style, cause the corner of the building to 'disappear' In this case the glass screens slide away from the building and stack to the side of the patio area.
More clerestory glazing above the roof of the extension floods the dining room and kitchen with natural light.
The architects also managed to compensate for the loss of the existing WC by squeezing a new and quite comfortable toilet in an impossibly small space below the main stair of the house.