Butterfly Prison

This is our design for a stately family home in Chelmsford, Essex. The existing house is of historical interest and thus its transformation is subtle towards the front whilst radical at the rear. Double winged two-storey rear extensions aim to ‘correct’ the evolved rear elevation whilst adding vast areas of space. This intervention then also enables the addition of a mansard roof extension which also assists to balance the proportions to the front.

The site faces a high prison wall in the far distance of a generous garden. This comes with the benefit of total privacy. We took this as an inspiration and designed a curtain wall system that consists of vertical and horizontal matt gold anodized fins and surfaces. The achieved grid and the various stepped layers add depth and break down the scale of the extensions whilst also providing shade to the vast swathes of south facing glass. This brise soleil structure helps to disguise a more conventional glazing system behind, which, given the quantity, provides a contribution towards cost savings.

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