An Oxford Edwardian With a Cantilevered Glass Addition Lists for £4M
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An Oxford Edwardian With a Cantilevered Glass Addition Lists for £4M

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By Kathryn M.
Once the residence of Charles Darwin’s great granddaughter, the 1912 structure has a mullet-style design with a surprising rear extension.

Staverton Road, a quiet residential street in the Oxford suburb of Summertown, offers a harmonious collection of stately Edwardian and Victorian homes. One such property dances between the lines, mixing the neighborhood's traditional architectural vernacular with a contemporary, glass-encased addition. Although concealed from the street, the extension nevertheless was designed to achieve a formal unity with the original structure through the careful selection of materials and spacial design.

From the street, the contemporary extension remains hidden to respect the unity of design shared by homes along Staverton Road. The front facade retains a traditional Edwardian style, with twin pediments of brick and concrete, wooden gables, and a recessed porch.  

Originally built in 1912, the house was once home to the great granddaughter of Charles Darwin, Hilda Padel, who also planted many of the trees offering shade in the backyard. The more recent modern addition tacks onto the structure's Edwardian bones to expand the living area across all three stories. Measuring nearly 5,000 square feet, the expansive residence now offers six bedrooms and modernized finishes throughout.

The view upon entering the modern addition. Floor-to-ceiling picture windows and large sliding doors open the space to the outdoors, all the while allowing natural light to pour inside.

Although the rear addition is unmistakably modern, materials such as oak and glass were selected to complement rather than wholly contrast with the original facade. Large living spaces within the new extension aim to respect and embrace the surroundings rather than encroach on them. Much of the original floor plan also remains, including a drawing room and a study on the ground floor, as well as several bedrooms upstairs. Capping the new addition is a stunning pitched, glazed roof with views of distance spires in Oxford.

The large kitchen sits beneath several broad glass panels along the ceiling. The contemporary space is open on three sides, finished in simple white cabinetry with a pop of color along the backsplash. 

Conveniently located within a mile of Oxford's city center, the property offers easy access to the area's renowned independent schools and the university. Notable Summertown residents over the years have included J. R. R. Tolkien (author of Lord of the Rings), novelist and philosopher Dame Iris Murdoch, and more recently, Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Keep scrolling to see more of this unique home, currently listed for £4,000,000.

The kitchen looks out onto a large dining area and family room. Built-in bookcases flank one side of the space, while the opposite end is capped by expansive windows looking out onto the patio and garden.

Connecting the old and new spaces is an oak and steel spiral staircase. Set against a geometric oriel window, the staircase bay slightly protrudes from the side the facade, offering the only visible hint of the modern materials used in back.

One of two bedrooms on the first level, the master bedroom sits at the back of the addition. A series of vertical window panes run from floor-to-ceiling and across the entire space, framing views of the treetops and looking out over the lush backyard.

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The modern bathroom features floating vanities, a curbless shower, and a glass-encased loo. A wide clerestory window fills the entire space with natural light.

Back downstairs, the sliding doors create an expansive opening, allowing for a seamless flow between the living area and the backyard patio.

A full view of the wood and glass extension, which sits behind the original structure in the rear. Modern dormers were also added to the 1912 brick Edwardian.

The Staverton Road house in Summertown, Oxford, is currently listed for £4,000,000 by The Modern House.

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