Accessibility and high design for a new two story extension


The Crescent, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire


With a commitment to a policy of good design and quality, this Grade II Listed home demonstrates that exceptional design can include accessibility whilst contributing to the area.


Our client came to us to replace the existing lean-to to the Grade II Listed property. The current two storey lean-too extension was added to the rear of the dwelling around the Second World War period and is in a very poor structural state. The client wanted a new two-storey extension that reflected a contemporary sustainable approach.


Our team of design experts set to work on creating a contemporary design that would make a clear intention of what is old and what is new, whilst respecting the historic building. We achieved this by:

  • Removal of existing lean-to, which has structural issue.

  • New 2 storey residential extension with a total floor area of 22.0m2 to replace the existing 2 storey extension (12.8m2). 

  • Render used on the walls.

  • Graphite grey metalwork and cedar cladding will add more modern materials to the scheme.

  • Bespoke window design for privacy.

  • The cedar ‘floating panel’ screens the new first floor bathroom from both the windows on this property and the windows on the neighbouring property.

  • Services entering and exiting the building are designed so they do not appear on the front elevation and are as un-obstructive as possible.

The Full Story

An impressive Grade II Listed building provided the home and setting for this project – which needed the removal of an existing lean-to and a new two-storey extension. Located on The Crescent, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire this home is part of a terrace crescent near the heart of the town centre. A crescent itself is an architectural structure where several houses, normally terraced houses, are laid out in an arc to form a crescent shape, such as the infamous Royal Crescent in Bath. 

The existing rear extension was in a state of disrepair and therefore structurally unsafe, thus having a detrimental effect on the listed building.

We therefore wanted to ensure that our project not only respected this history, but that the architecture for the extension distinguished the difference of what was modern and what was historic, whilst considering the surrounding area and the contribution it will make to the town of Wisbech.

Completing a truly finished article for the perfect extension

Accessibility and high design with reflected quality throughout, was the order for Mr Leigh, who had owned this property for a number of years. 

By creating a new two storey extension on a slightly larger footprint of the existing extension, we were able to provide good quality modern living arrangements to a property that is designed for 5 people. Furthermore, we decided to give the extension a complete finish by re-paving the rear courtyard, for the full enjoyment of the occupants.

The design also considered the need for privacy, with the windows being designed to prevent overlooking. We added cedar ‘floating panel’ screens the new first floor bathroom from both the windows on this property and the windows on the neighbouring property. This provided both the design aspect that was sought, as well as fulfilling the clients need for security. 

On top of that we worked closely with the Fenland District Council’s Conservation Officer at the time, Martyn Kendal. This was key in agreeing the contemporary approach to the scheme which clearly demarks old from new allowing the building to be understood by future generations. 

The new extension is of bespoke design and is meticulously detailed, with features that link it to the surrounding buildings. The intention for the ‘viewer’ to appreciate what is new and what is old was key to the final design. The new extension design sits in harmony with the listed building, respecting the existing building’s scale, form and materials. The final design was a well-conceived and inspirational design founded on a full understanding of local and historical context, with sustainability at its core.

Sustainable development is the core principle underpinning planning. At the heart of sustainable development is the simple idea of ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for future generations.

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