Barnaby Gunning Studio
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146 | Oval House Extension, Muswell Hill
This oval glass pavilion is an unusual solution to the classic London house extension brief. Nestled into the garden it appears to float effortlessly against the back of the house and provides a bright, airy kitchen dining room as well as a discretely positioned utility room. The pavilion is ingeniously structured with the support columns completely concealed within two large pivoting doors which open out to a slate covered terrace.

Before we started on the project, our clients had sought planning permission for a substantial full width rear extension. After repeated applications, they had received permission for a much compromised scheme that was of little benefit to them. We suggested demolishing the closet wing at the back of the house, recouping its volume to create a round extension that would allow light into the existing rear rooms of the house. Built as a free-standing pavilion, the extension would look back into the house as well as into the garden. In this way our clients would be able to free up the ground floor rooms inside the house to make two sets of living rooms.

From the outset we sought to make the pavilion appear as light as possible. Early schemes where the roof was supported directly by the glass we eventually superseded by an arrangement where an oval ring beam was supported by four slender columns, two of which became the pivoting bearings for the doors to the garden.


Barnaby Gunning, Ed Liu

Structural Engineer: Carolina Bartram, Arup

Contractor: PBS Contracts

Glazing Contractor: I.P.I.G.