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Project Follow Along

MINIMALIST GLASS AND COPPER EXTENSION TO COUNTRY COTTAGE

In this blog post, we will follow the construction progress of an exciting contemporary extension to an Oxfordshire cottage with all glass sliding walls and cantilevered copper roof.

Once planning permission was granted in November 2018 after a straight forward application, we moved straight onto the detailed design phase. Our initial design for a ‘floating roof’ supported on just 4 delicate steel columns to be located at the sliding glass intersections, was realised by the ‘anything is possible’ approach of Henley engineers Centre Space Design. The steel frame had to be stiff enough to resist the roof loads over the cantilevered corners, where there are no supporting columns at all.

After obtaining Building Regulations approval in February 2019 from Owl Building Control Solutions, a period of design refinements and modifications to the planned internal refurbishments to the main cottage, Ben Morgan Builders were appointed as main contractors in September 2019, and preparation works were started in October.

December 9th Update

We attended a site meeting with Adam from Sightline Aluminium Systems, the glazing manufacturers, to check the steel frame and requirements for the sliding glass fixings. Ben, his building team and the steel manufacturers, Wise Steelwork, had all collaborated with a crawler lift to fit the steel frame in the rear wall of the cottage. The whole frame was lifted and bolted in place within 2 hours, a fine example for pre-planning and teamwork. The frame, some of the beams weighing up to 950kgs provided an almost instant indication of the extension’s future form and with the tolerance measured to the mm, ready for the glass order and the complex roof makeup, which is intended to have a green sedum roof hidden behind a perimeter of sloping copper – I can’t wait to revisit!

March 6th Update

We had a fun morning yesterday in the rain, being part of the sliding glass wall installation and photo shoot for Sightline Aluminium Systems new brochure. The Sightlines team slotted in these large minimalist frames within their tracks with relative ease. The sliding glass units offer just 20mm wide sight lines and have been designed to disappear into the brickwork of the house. Ben Morgan, the builder, has done a fantastic job here, cutting the bricks to cover the frame behind, but allowing the glass to seamlessly fit into the wall.

This, together with the decorative soldier course of bricks and flint above the wide opening gives a beautifully natural and artisanal backdrop to the transparent extension. All that is needed now is the copper roofing and the hidden green sedum roof behind – oh and the underfloor heating and seamless floor tiling running from inside to out. In fact the list of exciting elements goes on and the following visits are only going to be more exciting as the work reaches its climax!

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