Alison Brooks Architects


Wrap House for a private client, London

The judges were immediately taken with the passion and joy of this Chiswick house extension. Its subtle geometry creates a series of high quality spaces, formed of well-chosen materials, which are a tribute to the design team’s skill and flair. The building’s intelligent, effortless connection to the Edwardian house has transformed it, adding value, while satisfying a client on a tight budget. The Wrap House embraces its outside spaces elegantly and effectively, integrating an old tree into the wooden decking and treating the roof as a dynamic and beautiful elevation in its own right. The origami-like roof appears to fold and – through its triangulated geometry – allows views of the back garden from the master bedroom. The scheme was undoubtedly helped by the good fortune, in the UK planning system lottery, of having a planning officer who clearly understood the value of good design. But in the end the entire project is a tribute to the clients, who never even considered the contractor-led procurement route all too common for UK ‘back extensions’. Their commendable approach is one to be fully supported and endorsed.

“This project is a 100sqm extension to the ground floor of a large detached house providing a variety of new internal spaces that are linked and continuous. The building is equally interesting as a roofscape, where it is overlooked by the master bedroom. Our response developed through distorting a single surface into a folded ribbon. This allowed us to simultaneously control both the quality of the internal spaces and the external appearance from the garden and first floor windows. The triangulated geometry of the roof compresses to create an intimate internal area at one end of the building, whilst maximizing the view of the garden from the master bedroom window. At the other end of the building, the roof folds upwards to offer views into the garden and up into the existing tree. The building's skin wraps down to the side of a centrally located fireplace to form an outdoor timber deck. The deck spills out into the garden and turns into a storage room and barbeque area. We used a series of geometrical shifts to achieve an integrated relationship between the building's structure, skin, and internal spaces. Manipulations of all three elements occurred until they stabilised and resolved into one crystallized form. ”

Alison Brooks Architects
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