Dezeen Magazine

Edinburgh Pavilion by Archer + Braun

Ten traditional British houses with standout modern extensions

Ahead of King Charles III's coronation this weekend, Dezeen has put together a roundup of bold modern extensions bolted onto the side of historic British houses.

Modern extensions on traditional buildings can often divide opinion, even when architects try to be sensitive to the original structure.

King Charles III once famously described a proposed high-tech extension to London's neoclassical National Gallery as "a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend".

In the spirit of that never-built extension, here are 10 period British houses that have been given contemporary additions, from grand Georgian homes to quaint rural cottages:

The exterior of Maker's House and its extension
Photo by Dapple Photography

Maker's House by Loader Monteith, near Glasgow

Scottish architecture studio Loader Monteith sought to complement the existing building's materiality with this courtyard extension to a Victorian stone villa near Glasgow, while also strengthening the home's connection to the garden.

"We carefully matched the concrete tones and roof form to reflect the building's original structure, adding a roof light to animate the living space below and allow a glimpse at the canopy of greenery above," said the practice.

Find out more about Maker's House ›

Windward House in Gloucestershire by Alison Brooks Architects
Photo by Paul Riddle

Windward House by Alison Brooks Architects, Gloucestershire

A black-house extension by Alison Brooks Architects now contains all the main living spaces at Windward House, a Georgian farmhouse in the Wye Valley that has been converted into a dedicated gallery space.

The two-storey add-on was designed to be clearly differentiated from the original building, with Brooks describing the project as "a dialogue between old and new; between the formality and informality, between an architecture of mass and one of weightlessness".

Find out more about Windward House ›

Gatti House by Adam Knibb Architects
Photo by Martin Gardner

Gatti House by Adam Knibb Architects, Hampshire

Adam Knibb Architects replaced a conservatory with a two-storey extension to this old Georgian vicarage on the edge of the South Downs.

Contrasting with the brick walls of the main house, the lower floor is defined by metal cladding and extensive glazing, with timber panels on the smaller upper level.

Find out more about Gatti House ›

Edinburgh Pavilion by Archer + Braun
Photo by David Barbour

Edinburgh Pavilion by Archer + Braun, Edinburgh

A minimal glazed box with Corsehill red sandstone cladding was affixed to this Grade B-listed Victorian villa in Edinburgh by architecture studio Archer + Braun (above and top).

Delicate red metal elements frame the extension's glazed walls, matching the sandstone and picking up on the tones of the existing home's stonework and roof tiles.

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The Pines extension
Photo by Richard Chivers

The Pines by Ström Architects, Surrey

Fair-faced concrete and lime-washed brick were selected to prevent a large extension from dominating the white-painted pebble dash, black-painted timbers and terracotta roof tiles of this home in Surrey.

Hampshire-based studio Ström Architects fitted a kitchen-dining room, a home office, and a gym and sauna into the light-filled single-storey extension.

Find out more about The Pines ›

Ornamental extension at Quatrefoil House by Hyde + Hyde
Photo by Michael Sinclair

Quatrefoil House by Hyde + Hyde, Oxford

Quatrefoil House in Oxford takes its name from the decorative steel and bronze tiles featuring the quatrefoil motif that frame the glazed living spaces of this extension by Swansea-based Hyde + Hyde.

The new structure takes cues from the 19th-century Gothic revival style of the main house – including through a tombstone-like sculptural column that supports the new kitchen.

Find out more about Quatrefoil House ›

Made of Sand extension by Studio Weave
Photo by Jim Stephenson

Made of Sand by Studio Weave, Devon

Studio Weave designed a timber-clad extension to this stone cottage in Devon as a distinctly contemporary addition that still manages to blend in with its rural surroundings.

Slotted between the cottage and a restored stone stair, the cubic structure replaced a garage and workshop that had fallen into disrepair. It now contains guest accommodation and an artists' workspace.

Find out more about Made of Sand ›

Pergola House extension
Photo by Rory Gardiner

Pergola House by Will Gamble Architects, Leicestershire

This Georgian manor in Leicestershire was extended with a brick bedroom suite and a contrasting glazed volume on the ground floor containing a kitchen, dining and living area.

According to London studio Will Gamble Architects, the oak-framed glazed parts of the extension were informed by garden pergolas and intended as a contemporary counterpoint to the existing building.

Find out more about Pergola House ›

Stone exterior of The Lodge house
Photo by James Brittain

The Lodge by Simon Gill Architects, London

London studio Simon Gill Architects added a subterranean pool, courtyard gardens and lightwells to this Victorian lodge in a Fulham cemetery.

To ensure the new elements remained subordinate to the building's original architecture, the extension is largely positioned underground and clad in stone.

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Exterior of black timber house extension by Invisible Studio
Photo by Jim Stephenson

House for a Filmmaker and a Playwright by Invisible Studio, Hampshire

Architecture practice Invisible Studio extended this cottage on the Surrey-Hampshire borders with a contemporary concrete and blackened-timber structure.

"Instead of extruding the existing double-pitched cottage, we placed the extension at a right angle to the existing house, using the same double pitch but pushing the living spaces right out to the edge of the slope to give a different aspect onto the garden and create a courtyard in front of the house," studio founder Piers Taylor explained.

Find out more about House for a Filmmaker and a Playwright ›