Jake House

+ Essex

Jake House is situated in a popular commuter town in Essex, and was formally an unremarkable, 4 bedroom 1970’s property, located within a street boasting many different styles of home.  The property had 3 large bedrooms and a box room at first floor, with a series of interconnecting spaces including a poorly conceived part garage conversion at ground floor.

RHJB were tasked with an open brief to rejuvenate this property, extending and remodelling the entire home. A main entrance located on the side of the house lacked identity from the street, with a generally bland outlook on all flanks. The existing kitchen was remote from the living space and fronted the street.

Our clients wanted a large open plan family area to the rear of the home that immediately addressed the garden which had always felt divorced from the house. This new family space was to provide a place to cook, eat and entertain, bringing the whole family together, enjoying both inside and outside spaces. Dramatically we relocated the kitchen from the front to rear of the property and this in turn created space at the front of the property to form a second reception/snug room.

The full width extension at ground floor plays with floor levels internally, to create high ceilings, defining the kitchen, living, dining, and utility as well as creating ample storage spaces. This has been coupled with dropped ceilings and the show-stopping large format sliding doors across the rear elevation, which benefit from a level threshold. The design breaks down the barriers between internal and external spaces, and is emboldened by a continuous tiled floor which is used both inside and out. A simple rendered frame, articulated with a slight angle provides a canopy that addresses the morning sun path to the east and defines the ground floor extension.

At first floor, a master bedroom suite has been designed to utilise the undervalued box room space, extending the building to both the side and rear. The internal aesthetic is minimal, and as at ground floor seeks to frame views. The key to this is the large picture window at the head of the room seen immediately when entering the space. Externally, we looked to visually treat the first floor differently to the ground, to break down the overall mass of the proposals. The first floor was clad vertically in pre-treated western red cedar, as well as part of the flank wall at ground floor. This maintains a relationship between the two floors.

Use of materials is always an important part of any build. The selection of them was essential to this project. Exposed red brick used internally references the original finish of the building, seeking to add warmth to the open plan space, and offset the extensive use of white walls. Reclaimed scaffold boards have been used to create a focal point within the open plan space that frames a tv.

The extensive remodelling and extension works at Jake House have proven highly successful for family life. The home is now used to its full potential day to day by a lively young family. It has been a highly rewarding project, and created a striking contemporary solution in the street.

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