Garden room extension and new entrance to an Arts & Crafts house in Dorking, Surrey

Byw R2 Studio 01

New entrance and link corridor

Byw Before 01 Bw

The owners of this beautiful house on the fringes of the North Downs are avid gardeners. They initially approached R2 STUDIO as they wanted to enlarge the existing living room which was comfortable in size, yet it felt dark and the window offered limited views out to the garden. The room should become larger, brighter and connect better to the garden.

In early design workshops it emerged that simply making this existing room bigger would not have addressed the aspirations of a brighter, better-connected room and it would have turned the existing space into a 'through-room'. Instead, the idea came up to place a new space next to the house, linked with a glazed corridor which at the same time retains direct connections to the kitchen and the rest of the house, while also retaining views from the front to the back of the house. 

Byw R2 Studio 16

View from garden


The garden room was conceived as a separate building with a large glass screen to maximise views across the garden. The floor level was raised in order to lift the viewer over the garden which slopes up towards the rear.

"Thank goodness we listened to Frederik. What could have turned out to be ordinary , he turned into a room that we never want to leave. We are very lucky"
N. Riley, client
Byw R2 Studio 04
Byw R2 Studio 06

The window screen is triple-glazed throughout and purposefully only has limited openings for access and high level ventilation. It is complemented by clerestorey glazing at the rear of the space to even out the daylight balance and to help with cross-ventilation in summer.

The walls are brick cavity construction with double the amount of insulation of a tradinional build. The same principle applied to the floor and the roof, where the performance was increased by a factor of 2. As a result, the space only needs small radiators as a back-up - they are rarely used as the wood-burning stove provides the bulk of the heating.

Byw R2 Studio 14

View through entrance to existing house

Byw R2 Studio 13

New entrance


The entrance provides a modern link between the old house and the garden room. It provides hidden storage, a boot rack and bench as well as steps up to the garden room level.

The link corridor is fully glazed at the front and rear in order to replicate the visual link the house previously had through the garden gate. It is lined in plywood on walls and ceiling to contrast the link from both the old house and the garden room.

Byw R2 Studio 02

Link corridor


Byw Before 01 Bw

Existing living room

Byw Before 02 Bw

Front of house before works

Byw R2 Studio 09

New entrance

Byw R2 Studio 10

Window screen

Byw R2 Studio 11
Byw R2 Studio 15

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