The Garden Studio
by Alder Brisco (now Brisco Loran and James Alder Architect)
Client Private client
Awards RIBA East Award 2022, RIBA East Project Architect of the Year 2022
This project exudes a sense of great calm, demonstrating that delight can be found even in the most modest projects – in this case a simple single-storey extension that replaces a garage on the side of a gracious Victorian house in Norwich’s Golden Triangle.
Brisco Loran Director Thom Brisco was approached by the two artist-clients who had encountered their work in an exhibition space designed by the practice, exhibiting very good judgement in trusting a young practice with their project. In return they have had absolute commitment from their architects who have not only delivered new spaces – an art studio opening onto an enlarged kitchen – but have rediscovered the spirit of the original house, obscured by later additions. The work also reconnects the house to its garden in a convincing way.
Brisco Loran’s exploration through physical models is evident in the inventive interplay of spaces, opening up an enfilade through the house that links the clients’ two studios. A former maid’s quarters has been rediscovered and linked with a ladder stair, made by the architect himself, giving access both for storage and volumetric relief. A series of linings and timber soffits link new and old spaces, culminating in the timber roof beams of the studio, which become mullions to the clerestory that rests on a new blind brick front façade.
As a low-cost refurbishment and extension, the project has implemented the principles of a fabric-first approach to uplift the fabric thermal performance (significantly uplifting the previously uninsulated existing dwelling), while timber and notable use of reclaimed bricks has assisted in reducing the whole-life carbon impact of this project.
Contractor King and Company Builders Norfolk
Structural Engineer Matthew Wood
Internal area 65 m2