A residential project in Surrey is one of 20 properties in the running to be named RIBA House of the Year 2018. Oatlands Close was designed by award-winning Soup Architects and has been picking up accolades since its completion in 2017.
Having won two regional RIBA Awards, Oatlands Close is now under consideration for national recognition.
The project involved the renovation and extension of a 4-bedroom house in Surrey. The new look has sort to rectify a poor connection between the property and its rear garden. Included within this has been the addition of a standalone workspace in the garden and a ground floor extension that stretches across the width of the site. A new bedroom has also been added to the first floor, although this has been set back from the edge to maintain privacy.
The area in which the property sits is a quiet, suburban private estate that is characterised by brick and hung tile two storey buildings. All the properties are setback on the Close and benefit from immaculately kept front lawns and planting.
One of the major benefits of Oatlands Close is that the property boasts 35 metres of hidden garden that seeps around a corner to form a small hideaway. This hideaway is surrounded by large mature oaks and pines.
At ground floor level the front of the existing house retains a material palette of dark, natural materials with subtle glimpses through into the new, naturally lit extension comprising of full height glazing, light grey exposed brickwork and white washed walls.
Moving through the house, the new extension opens out to reveal a light, open plan space with uninterrupted views out towards the garden. A new family kitchen has been positioned at the heart of the new extension, along with a dining space. Adjacent to this area is a new family study area and a large living area with a bespoke reading nook that extends into the garden.
All of the new windows have been carefully chosen and positioned to frame parts of the new garden. The use of sliding screens and secret panel doors are crucial to the property’s free flowing circulation. A large wedge shaped roof light allows for subtle natural light variations throughout the day in the new extension. This flat roof sunlight was supplied by Sunsquare Ltd.
The external material finish of the new elements is a combination of exposed light grey brickwork with a natural lime mortar and a minimal aluminium framed glazing system. The muse of a wild grass planted roof at first floor level and a sophisticated planting layout to the garden have allowed the new sections of the house to quickly settle into the context.
Despite being separate from the main house, the new garden studio’s geometry is connected to the extension and ensures there is a connection between the two.
Work has also been carried out to enhance existing aspects of the property, including upgrades to the thermal fabric and rationalisation of the circulation space for a more fluid, compact arrangement.
Working alongside Soup was structural engineer BTA Structural Design and landscape designers Rosalind Millar Landscape Design. As well as acting as lead architects for the projects, Soup was also demonstrated a significant degree of flexibility when seeing the through to completion after the Main Contractor folded near completion.
While this is the fourth time Soup Architects has been recognised with a RIBA Award, it is the first time the company has advanced to the current format for RIBA House of the Year. The RIBA judges have praised how the home has been opened up to the garden and the simple yet robust material palette.
To view more Soup Architects projects, please visit www.souparchitects.com.