Accessible Living

March 9, 2015

External light to the accessible living extension Hebden Bridge is well known across the UK for its quirky charm and chocolate box character. As with many historical North-West mill towns; the houses are close together and space is often quite limited with sloping landscapes the norm.

As an architect, this presents a complex challenge which requires creative thinking, innovation and a practical approach in order to achieve a solution that will to satisfy all parties – not just the client.

On this project, the clients required ground floor wheelchair-accessible bathroom and living accommodation, but didn’t want to lose any existing space or characteristics of the existing family home.

The project had to take into account a steep slope, retaining boundary walls and a sewer line running across the footprint. At the same time the design had to allow light to reach the basement kitchen window directly below the planned extension site.

External view of the accessible extension

Clients aside; we also needed to ensure the plans did not impact on the neighbouring properties and were in keeping with the culture of the local Conservation Area.

Paved pation area with level access from the interior of the house

The single storey extension is only small just over 11m2 and only extends the back of the house by three metres but delivers a bright, modern and airy environment thanks to internal and external glazed doors and some quirkily-angled rooflights which aid reflection and add a level of interest to the interior.  The space is also incredibly flexible: the shower room is in itself an innovation; at just 2.9m2 when vacant but able to grow to 3.65m2 when in use thanks to the two-position double doors which overlap when not in use or form a V to allow more space to move inside.

Interior view of the new extensionAngled roof lights ti encourage all-day light penetration

The creams and browns of the finish make this an appealing, warm environment that is comfortable and accessible for the whole family.

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