How a “cramped” Victorian house was transformed into a bright open-plan living space with a cork-clad 20m² extension

by | Feb 13, 2024 | General

Camberwell Cork House – design strategy was to minimise carbon emissions as well as energy bills

Delve Architects – – recently transformed a Victorian house in Camberwell with a cork-clad extension that introduces a bright open-plan kitchen and dining space for entertaining.

Appropriately named Camberwell Cork House, the 20-square-metre extension project replaces an existing kitchen and back room that the studio said was “cramped and dark”.

“The intention was to maximise sight lines into the long garden and bring in light as much as possible,” says Delve co-director Alex Raher.

The dining room now extends out into the garden, enclosed by large triple-glazed windows and a 2.4-metre-high glass door with green-painted frames. These large glazed areas focus attention on the outside while allowing westerly light to filter into the dining space.

According to Delve Architects, a key move to help make the space feel brighter and airier was to sink the extension, which required a step down from the main living spaces into the dining area.

Skylights run along the length of the extension’s roof to drench the space with light from above and large windows focus attention on the garden.

Another important element in the project was the use of cork, a renewable natural material that is used for cladding as well as insulation, forming part of a wider design strategy focused on minimising carbon emissions and energy bills.

According to the studio, by using cork as both external cladding and a thermal insulator, the project aims to showcase the potential of cork beyond aesthetics.

“We want to show how decarbonising can be done at any scale and loved the challenge of working with this natural material,” said co-director Alex Raher.

Thanks to Dezeen Magazine and Delve Architects for this report –

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