Contemporary extensions | London

Architect designed Putney Wandsworth SW6 kitchen house extension Finishes and materials Contemporary extensions in London | Home ideas | GOA Studio


There is an argument to be made that buildings need to be of their age and reflect the context they are built in whether this is cultural, technological, or environmentally ethical. The best contemporary residential extensions seek to find a balance between the nurture of contemporary living and the nature of the host building the extension has a dialogue with.

If we were to categorise them we could look to group them as follows:

Use | Forget glass boxes, fancy external cladding and luxury wallpaper. Think of overlapping internal spaces, precise sight-lines, smart storage solutions, and bringing the house from the front to the rear by establishing a connection to the private and sunny garden. And treat your garden as an external space to look at and treasure.

Materials | Red rust-like COR-TEN steel cladding, natural or blackened timber boards, and transparent or translucent glazing. The beauty of handmade brick and the magical abilities of steel beams that allow floors above to be suspended hands-free. Low energy wool insulation inside the cavity walls. A touch of yellow on a wall to make it vibrate.

Form | Irregular symmetry and butterfly roofs that define the spaces below. Uplifting volumes that create a cathedral effect. Cantilevered and raised areas that appear to float over the garden. A sense of lightness in the way the extension touches the ground, or a sense of belonging in how it appears to rise off the ground.

All of the above | Because we might need to use the whole range of the architectural vocabulary to express what you want to say.

Design aspirations 

Modern lifestyles and family living often require that a visual and spatial connection is established between the kitchen, dining, and living areas, and the rear part of the house. When designing a contemporary extension an architect will respond by trying to open up the back wall to create sightlines, views, and circulation paths between the internal and external spaces.

We will talk to you about what is important, and try to get a sense of how you will live, work and play in your new environment. So, it is worth thinking about how you currently use your space, and how you would like to use any new space you choose to add. During the design development stage we will get to explore lots of ideas but you can start the process now by considering answers to questions as such:

“Would an open plan layout work for us, or would we prefer that some of the living areas remain separate from the rest of the living areas? Which areas are best left enclosed and which spaces can we open up?”

“Should the kitchen area, the dining area, or the seating area be nearest to the rear garden? How does the sun moves from dawn to dusk around the rear of the property, and how can we have best access to natural light?”

“What are we trying to achieve in regards to natural light? Should we keep the amount of roof glazing to a minimum, which will make the rear garden appear more theatrical? Or should we go for lots of roof glazing to create an outdoor effect? Where should the cosy areas be?”

“What materials do we like and how do they make us feel? What mental associations do we make with them, what memories do they evoke and what do we want to say with the spaces we look to create?”

“How can we improve the garden and how can we blend the views from inside-out and outside-in when it comes to floor and wall finishes? What’s lacking in our relationship to our garden and how do we want to use the outdoor space in the future?”

Inspiration and ideas

Below we have selected some projects to lend architectural inspiration and design ideas for your contemporary extension. Enjoy!

purplebox Contemporary extensions in London | Home ideas | GOA StudioVisit our portfolio for a selection of case studies or alternatively visit our London Residential page for your local authority and information about planning.

Awards + Achievements

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We see ourselves as creative problem solvers who will deal with any construction, planning, and design issues relevant to your project.

Contact Details

Kemp House | 152 - 160 City Road | EC1V 2NX | Islington

Grove Mews | W6 7HS | Hammersmith and Fulham

t: 020 3693 3817


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Website | Blackledge & Sandall

Creative Director | Umi Ishimoto