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Treetops is a unique ‘upside down’ house located in Digswell, Hertfordshire. Built in the 1960s, the house is nestled in a woodland garden and has remained largely untouched since its construction. 


With new owners, there is a need and desire to modernise and improve the thermal performance of the house whilst respecting the vision and spirit of the original. With insufficient space to expand the kitchen, or to enjoy easy access to the garden, the brief has demanded an improved ground floor and garden relationship.


Our design retains and emphasises the ‘upside down’ concept through material improvements to the front of the house. Zinc cladding to the first floor will present a modern facade whilst brickwork at ground floor will receive a lime wash finish to disguise variations of historic brick alterations and to achieve a more mid-century finish. 


A new rear extension, designed to be discrete and unseen from public view, will be sympathetic to the original house ensuring it continues to sit comfortably in its surroundings. The extension will include changes in floor level that follow the existing terraced landscape resulting in a bridge leading to a kitchen-dining area which will then step down to a living room with views beneath the tree canopies and the garden beyond. A new home office will occupy the existing kitchen and a new roof terrace, over the single storey extension, will create an exciting space looking into the woodland canopy.

Harmer Green Lane

Modernising a bespoke 1960s house

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