A Grass-Topped Addition in England Connects Home and Garden
Winner of two 2018 RIBA awards, Oatlands by Soup Architects is a 1920s suburban home in Surrey, a county bordering London in Southeast England. Gracefully updated with a new, modern rear extension that expands the interior living spaces, the residence spills out to a landscaped garden.
The original property—a two-story, semi-detached house in a private estate in Weybridge—had undergone several minor renovations over the years, and includes 115 feet of hidden garden that curves around a corner to form a private oasis surrounded by mature pines and oaks. It was set on a long, north-south axis, but poorly connected to the rear garden. The architects realized they could use the green space to their advantage when renovating the existing three-bedroom house.
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The new garden studio is positioned at the point where the garden pivots off to a previously disconnected end of the outdoor space.
Soup Architects enlarged the first floor of the house to include a new master bedroom, as well as a dressing and bathroom area. The usable floor area increased to 2,842 square feet.
From the existing ground floor building, one can glimpse into the new, sunlit extension that’s composed of contrasting light gray, exposed brickwork, white-washed walls, and full-height glazing.
"The use of sliding screens and secret panel doors allows for a free-flowing circulation route between all areas of the ground floor," says Patrick Walls, a director at Soup, "including the refurbished garage and boot-room, and a large wedge-shaped rooflight allows for subtle natural light variations throughout the day in the new extension."
"As you proceed through the circulation corridor towards the new extension, the space opens out to reveal a wonderfully light, open-plan space with unobstructed views out into the angled garden," he continues.
"Its geometry is strongly connected to the new extension and creates a harmonious connection between the two structures," says Walls.
The facade of the new extension is comprised of exposed light gray brickwork with a natural lime mortar, and a light, aluminum-framed glazing system.
Adjacent to the kitchen and dining zone is a study, and a spacious living area with a custom-designed reading nook that stretches out into the garden.
The house is located on a site flanked by two other 1920s brick buildings with elongated, north-facing gardens that are about 131 feet deep.