Alma Road

A rear glazed extension to gothic Victorian dwelling in St. Albans

The client's brief was to transform their dark gothic Victorian basement into a bright, functional and welcoming modern glass extension that engages with the garden. A rear glazed extension with structural rooflights, aluminium casement door and slim framed sliding doors with an open corner configuration along with some clever layout and design configurations would achieve the desired outcome.


Architects: Sheldon Peever Studio

Snook Photography


St. Albans, Hertfordshire

Bringing natural light into a rear glazed extension without admitting high levels of solar gain formed a challenging element of the design by architects, Sheldon Peever Studio. In addition to this challenge, the gothic Victorian house’s south facing flank wall affixes to the street which meant that glazed elevations would be limited to prevent overlooking. A thin strip structural rooflight provided the best solution to mitigate the overlooking issue in this modern glass extension, and enabled the architects to raise the ceiling level to accommodate a large structural rooflight to be installed at an angle to maximise natural light ingress without being completely exposed to the heat of the sun, thus preventing solar gain.

The rear extension of the original basement adjacent to the street side features a new slim glazed roof strip to flood the new space with light and ventilation well above eye level from the street to not encroach on the occupant's privacy.

The larger part of the St. Albans house extension features a formal dining area with slim framed aluminium sliding doors opening out to the garden in an open corner configuration that connects with the entire patio area. The two environments successfully merge with a flush threshold detail alongside the limestone flooring that is used inside and continues outside dissolving the parameters of indoors and outdoors.

From the kitchen side of the rear glazed extension, a large casement door provides additional access to the garden.

The kitchen’s ceiling height is raised and an oversized frameless effect structural rooflight is positioned in partial shade due to the angle of installation and the shadow cast by upper storey side of the extension.

The building is locally listed and sits within the St. Albans conservation area. The external materials used reflect those found on the original building, merging the extensions with the existing house. The side extension with the narrow strip rooflight facing the street was built in brickwork to make the modern glass extension feel part of the existing and new boundary wall to the street.

The overall result is a contemporary rear extension boasting flexible airy and bright living spaces for its occupants.

Due to clever design elements, this sympathetic restoration was awarded Winner in the Hertfordshire Architects’ Association Design Awards 2021- ‘Domestic Extension’ category and has been shortlisted for other coveted awards.

The IQ team are on hand to discuss glass specification and ensure any specific project requirements are met.

Contact us today for your glass extension requirements!