We spend a lot of time talking and thinking about extensions – especially when it comes to listed buildings – but not nearly enough time looking at the beautiful end results.
Whether you're looking for inspiration or procrastination, check out these stunning building extensions.
The Royal Ontario Museum
Image by The City Of Toronto
Where extensions that play it safe use the same materials and often the same techniques as were used to build the original building. The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, an extension to the Royal Ontario Museum, does no such thing.
While the Royal Ontario Museum was never a stranger to daring extensions – the Queen Elizabeth II Terraced Gardens won a Governor General's Award in Architecture in 1984, and is still striking today – the steel and glass of the crystal make for a marked contrast with the sombre brick construction of the main building.
The 'Crystal' seems, for all its distinctive appearance, to have grown naturally from the museum. It appears to extend from the earth and into the museum, uniting the two. In person, it's even more impressive, and definitely an amazing architectural achievement in its own right.
Image by James Stringer
Hunsett Mill can be found in Norfolk, in beautiful surroundings. It is very difficult to get to, and privately owned, but well worth it.
The startling black wood extension looks like an intrusion from another world, neither modern nor in keeping with the standard red brick mill cottage.
The size and appearance of the new build make it seem like the cottage's physical shadow, looming over the tasteful gardens.
Treehouse (6a Architects)
6a Architects have created a stunning extension from wood that curves elegantly around a tree.
It shows sensitivity to, and reflects, its surroundings.
Rather than building around the tree, it is almost as though the tree has 'clipped through' the house, excising a neat cylinder. Is the design influenced by modern computer design technology as much as ancient concerns for the land?
Unfortunately, we cannot show images of the house here, but you can see some lovely pictures on dezeen.com.
Felix Nussbaum Haus
Image by Radka Hlisnikovska
The Felix Nussbaum Haus, in Osnabrück Germany, acts as a powerful symbol of anti-racist sentiment and resilience in the face of dangerous forces. It houses the art of German-Jewish artist Felix Nussbaum.
The building itself is divided into sections that represent the stages of Felix Nussbaum's life, including a savage concrete section that juts through the building to represent the time he spent hiding from the Nazis.
In 2011, the architect returned to the project to create a striking new extension. The awkward angle and isolation of the entrance area and its lack of connection with its surroundings tie in neatly with the surreal, alienated art of Nussbaum.
Coventry Council House
Image by Coventry City Council
When you think of amazing, daring architecture, you probably don't instantly think of local government. The Coventry Council House extension is, though, love-it-or-hate-it, an absolutely incredible piece of work (that's the extension on the right of the picture, in case you're wondering).
Somehow, it seems like the metal spike jutting out of the building's side only adds to the tudor-style architecture of the original.
The building as a whole represents all the diversity of 20th century architecture, from the twee (but convincing) mock-tudor Olde Englande turn of the century fashion of the main building to the utilitarian, brutalist, exposed walkway, to the strange squat geometrics of the extension itself.
Want To Make Your Own Ambitious Extension?
At KSLaw, we thrive on challenging planning projects. If you're planning an ambitious extension of your own, let us know and we can help smooth the planning application process for you.