RHJB_Chestnut Avenue – View 1 – Web
RHJB_Chestnut Avenue – View 2 – Light Fix -Web
RHJB_Chestnut Avenue – View 3 – Web
RHJB_Chestnut Avenue – View 4 – Web

Chestnut Avenue

+ Grays, Essex

Our clients for this project approached us following a recommendation. Returning from living abroad, our clients and young family purchased a bungalow on a leafy street in Essex, near to extended family. Initial conversations revolved around extensive extension and refurbishment of the existing bungalow. However, it became evident that little of the original property would be retained. As such the opportunity to start over and create a bespoke new build home was too strong to resist.

We discussed the brief at length with our clients. From the basic number of bedrooms required; to the sense and feel of the spaces we were to create. It was imperative that we included both their young sons in the process, so proposals that came forward for their bedrooms had features to excite them. This included cargo net mezzanine hideaways and climbing walls to access them.

Both Claire and Greg kindly provided precedent images, in this case separately. Interestingly both supplied different images with varying styles, however, put faith in us to disseminate the key ingredients and present a scheme that encapsulated both views. Fortunately, we excel at this and were able to deliver a scheme for all.

Material Palette

Our scheme focused on a generally calm palette both externally and internally. Using greys and whites, with punches of sage green and the warmth of birch ply timber internally. We developed a scheme with a light industrial feel, bathed in natural light at every opportunity. The external appearance is dominated by two gable forms that stretch from the front to the rear of the property. A central gantry and corridor link both forms and provide the opportunity for significant window and roof light placement.


The form was born of both craft and style, but it was critical that the design addressed the street scene. Planning was obviously a huge consideration. Bordered by bungalows, we were aware of and undertook research, to qualify the presence of enlarged bungalows (Chalet style) and formal 2-storey houses dotted throughout the street. This allowed us to build a case for a larger dwelling on the bungalow site of our clients. We used the gable form to create a vaulted ceiling on the first floor, allowing for a lower ridge height and therefore mitigating the imposition of a traditional 2-storey plus roof home. This was received well by the planners and was approved the first time of asking.

Our clients are thrilled with the simplicity of the scheme, fitting the bill of their ‘forever home’ ambitions, to cater for both them, their growing sons and their extended family. A true, modern family home in the making!

We are thrilled with the scheme and can’t wait for it to start on-site. The project is currently at tender and due on site within the next few months.

Image Credit: Picto Studios

Further Inspiration

See our Triple Oak project or check out our Instagram feed.