Biggin Hill Townhouse

A dilapidated, leaky wooden-framed extension was demolished to make way for our sleek, frameless glazed box on this beautiful Kent property. The green-fingered client was eager to remove as much framework as possible to maximise views of the greenery in the garden. Another consideration was light - the aim was to let natural light in to nourish and nurture not only the plants in the extension (plant beds were included in the architects' drawings, so they were a key part of the design of this extension), but the client's family and friends.

project details

  • To maximise light coming through the roof, laminated glass beams are used to support it. These beams are made up of three thick pieces of structural glass bonded together with a structural laminate. This creates a beam which is almost as strong as steel. Thicker glass often has a green tinge from byproducts of the glazing process (iron oxide), however, the low-iron glass we used for the beams reduces this greatly
  • A steel portal frame was necessary to hold the doors in place as Sky-Frame doors have a low tolerance for bending or warping round the frames (simply put, the frame bends and the doors will stick - not ideal!)
  • The wall and roof panels are joined with a thin structural silicone joint, which holds the whole structure together without the need for chunky framework, maximising the light coming through the structure
  • Another key concern for the homeowner was insulation - they didn't want to bake in the summer and freeze in winter, therefore, we used a low-E coating on all glass and Warm Edge spacer bars between the panes of the double glazed units. Combined, these reduce solar-gain and heat loss to the outside, meaning the room will maintain a comfortable temperature year round

rural project overview

Open Architecture (Kent)



George Sharman