The Lateral House

An 1850s villa extended and transformed using modified timber

About this project

Set in a conservation area but not listed, the three-storey plus basement villa dates from the 1850s, with an elegant, cream-coloured stuccoed facade that is set back slightly from the street. This outward appearance, however, gives no hint of the radical remodelling that has taken place beyond the front door.

A third storey had been added to the house in the 1970s, lifting it beyond the height of its semi-detached neighbour, but the previous side extension and rear conservatory were considerably less successful and were demolished to be replaced by a new side stair and brickbuilt outrigger extension to the garden elevation.

The transformation of the lower ground level opened up this part of the house to the garden through full height, full width sliding glass doors, immediately outside of which is a deck and seating formed from Kebony®. Steps to the side of this rise through several levels of formal, hard landscaping to arrive at the garden annex. The design of this landscape between the two buildings is extraordinarily controlled and makes it abundantly evident that the interplay between the house and the annex across the garden was an essential consideration in the overall scheme.

The effect of this has been to optically draw the garden pavilion closer to the house, the scale and composition of its asymmetrical, timber-clad elevation providing the perfect counterpoint to the rear facade’s brick construction. This dark-brown rainscreen of precisely-spaced, open jointed Kebony® slats rises vertically before following the pitch of the roof to an absolutely horizontal ridge line.

The quality of carpentry here is exemplary, as is the detailing: Kebony®’s hardness, workability and low-maintenance credentials are displayed to great advantage in this high-end garden pavilion that multi-tasks as a gym, home office and studio. Inside, the asymmetry of the elevation is followed through with the provision of a small shower/wc, the ply-faced enclosure for which supports a small bed platform below the roof.

Further information

The Modern Timber House in the UK, chapter 4

Take a closer look at modified wood.

Find out how to specify modified wood.

Images: Nick Kane

Key contacts




Pitman Tozer Architects

Timber supplier


Back to Case Studies

Submit a case study

Share your timber projects with us and we will feature them on this site and via our newsletter.

Submit case study

Get the Wood for Good Newsletter