Cedar cladding frames an extension to
The Runners House by AR Design Studio

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A timber-clad box frames a new living area added to the heart of this house in Winchester, England, by local firm AR Design Studio (+ slideshow).

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

The owners of a typical English three-bedroom house asked AR Design Studio to enlarge the property and reorganise the confused interior layout to make it perform better for family living.



"The original house didn't make sense for the way the client wanted to live," Laurie Scott of AR Design Studio told Dezeen. "They wanted a big central space where the family could hang out together, with everything else radiating off that."

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

The architects removed an existing conservatory and added a new wing to transform the original L-shaped plan into a U-shape, which wraps around a large open-plan room that now occupies most of the ground floor.

Viewed from the back garden, the space between the two wings is surrounded by a rectangular wooden frame that extends outward slightly from the edge of the house and continues along a portion of the internal walls.

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

"The timber box unites the hard element of the two wings and the main body of the house with the softer element of the garden and acts as a transitional space," said Scott.

A concrete plinth was constructed outside a series of sliding doors to create a seamless connection with the interior flooring.

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

A double-height entrance at the front of the property opens onto the expansive kitchen, dining and living area, which looks straight onto the garden through the glazed doors.

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

The kitchen area, with an island unit and breakfast bar, is separated from a dedicated lounge space by a steel staircase featuring poured concrete treads that match the flooring on the lower level.

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

The staircase is flanked by steel tension wires, providing minimal balustrades. Gaps between the stairs further reduce the visual weight of the structure.

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

A glass-balustraded bridge connecting the master bedroom suite with the children's bedrooms crosses the entrance and is intended to accentuate the height and brightness of this space.

The architects specified Ludovica and Roberto Palomba's softly rounded Gregg pendant lights for Foscarini in the double-height area to create the impression of "being up in the clouds".

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

"There's this tongue-in-cheek space with the cloud lights and the glass balustrade that accentuates the lightweight airy feeling you get from being high up with a view down to the rest of the house," added Scott.

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

Existing rooms throughout the property were refreshed and a bathroom looking out towards the garden is among the rooms created in the new wing.

The Runners House by AR Design Studio

The project is one of several completed by the architects on the same street, and was named The Runners House because of the owners' passion for jogging.

Photography is by Martin Gardner.

  • Chris london

    Whilst I like open spaces in a house this really is the best example of “wasted” space. Unfortunately the design looks more like a developer rather an architect, I like some of AR Design Studio’s work but this isn’t their best example.

    • mitate

      Agree. Never was a space more in need of Corb’s promenade.

  • Andy Ramus

    Chis London,

    Trust me Chris, there isn’t much wasted space on a day-to-day basis in this house. They have three kids and it’s full of furniture and life. This is a stripped architectural photo shoot. :)

    Andy Ramus
    AR Design Studio

    • adit

      Would love to see pictures with real, everyday furniture and stuff in them. More realistic pictures please.

      • Andy

        Trust me, you wouldn’t.

        Andy