Inside and Out

Smarts Heritage, äir bifolds on the outside and Crittall on the inside..

A one-off property like this needs the right approach to glazing. Smarts Heritage, aïr bifolds and Crittall interior windows were the order of the day.

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This property, like so many of our other projects, required some creative thinking. The owners of the property wanted to really do it justice, since the original house was built by a family member. The older part of the house is in a red stock brick, with exposed timbers, and the modern extension sets out in a different, yet complementary style, ushering in more curves in a buff brick, echoing the herringbone of the original. The older windows are timber casements, and yet the new new extension opts for aluminium heritage windows from Smarts. The absence of glazing bars reflect the original building in a distinctive manner.

We’re a particular fan of the study with its corner window, which seems to take an architectural slice through the brick, spilling in light, and revealing sections of old and new, somehow balancing the weight of the substantial extension. The views from inside are stunning, and the light passes through the deep interior of the house through picture windows and Crittall.

One of our favourite aspects of this project was the door at the top of the stairs, leading into a clandestine balcony area, flanked by the new extension, and topped with the brickwork of the original gable. It’s a part of the build which seems to embody the nature of the roots and heritage of the family home, whilst stepping into a new chapter.

Throughout the house, we see clever uses of the glazing in each room, not simply a window, but somehow more intentional, a picture window, or an unexpected introduction of light where so many other properties would have opted for artificial.

The effect is that of peace, a partnership with the outside of the house, glimpses of sky, foliage and older brickwork, it gives the property a sense of connection with its roots and its setting.

The Smarts Heritage range is so perfect for this build. The sightlines are low, so necessarily unobtrusive, they make the light the real feature and do not distract from the clever choices the owners have made. A perfect foil to the Smarts Heritage, is the inclusion of aïr bifolds in the music/games room (which, out of interest, is hidden behind a secret door, disguised as a large mirror!). The bifolds re-connect the room with the rest of the house, it retains a sense of separation, removal, which is so necessary for relaxation and noise, and yet the opening to the outside with swept-back aïr bifolds almost surprises the occupant back into the same location.

We know Crittall to be of a time, and yet somehow timeless, both metaphorically and literally speaking, the black, powder-coated steel provides the perfect portal between old and new. The welds speak of craft and tradition, attention to detail, perfection. The door opens effortlessly, but as it swings, you can feel the reassuring weight of the steel in your hand. The glazing bars split the interior into panels of colour and light, particularly when looking from the hall into the new kitchen.

The introduction of Crittall to the home’s interior is nothing short of genius.

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