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Francesco Pierazzi adds light-filled extension to Suncatcher house

London studio Francesco Pierazzi Architects has extended a suburban house in Croydon, adding two volumes with carefully-positioned openings that follow the path of the sun.

The minimalist extension, aptly named Suncatcher, was designed by Francesco Pierazzi Architects to wrap an existing steep-roofed cottage owned by a family of four in Purley.

Exterior of Suncatcher house extension in London by Francesco Pierazzi Architects
Francesco Pierazzi Architects has extended a suburban house in Croydon

Along the western edge of the home, a narrow form creates a new entrance. It also houses ancillary functions and has an internal window that helps draw light into the existing building.

This side extension leads into a new living, dining and kitchen area within the rear extension and creates a visual axis that connects the front and back of the dwelling.

Exterior of London house extension by Francesco Pierazzi Architects
It is named Suncatcher and is designed to follow the path of the sun

A concealed full-height door leads into the rear extension, which sits beneath two sections of the roof that slope in opposite directions and are punctured by large skylights and clerestory windows.

“The project is split into two separate sub-briefs and organised around two distinctive new buildings,” said Francesco Pierazzi Architects.

“The side extension is monolithic, finished in dark painted render to harmonise with the sombre bricks, and accommodates ancillary functions, [while] the back extension is conceived as a spatial sun and light catcher,” it continued.

Entrance of Suncatcher house extension in London by Francesco Pierazzi Architects
A new entrance has been added

Inside, Suncatcher’s white interiors emphasise the angular ceilings and deep reveals of the black metal-framed windows, while minimal wall and ceiling fittings emphasise the forms of the extensions.

In the living area, a glazed corner incorporating sliding doors opens out onto a south-facing patio, with a continuous paved floor creating continuity between interior and exterior.

This living area steps up slightly into the wood-floored kitchen that is defined by a black marble countertop and splashback. These are complemented by full-height black cupboards that are tucked into the northern end of the space beneath white pendant lights.

“The new building is articulated by ‘pulling’ and ‘stretching’ its edges to produce a dramatic, sculptural interior,” said Francesco Pierazzi Architects.

Glazed house extension in London
Skylights and clerestory windows illuminate the interior

Externally, Suncatcher’s rear extension has been clad with horizontally-laid boards of textured timber, creating a pale contrast to the dark-rendered side extension.

“The back extension is clad with three-dimensional textured timber boards to produce heavy shades and augment its sculptural properties, creating a stronger relationship with the mature trees at the end of the back garden,” described the studio.

White interior of Suncatcher house extension in London by Francesco Pierazzi Architects
The interiors are painted white

Francesco Pierazzi Architects was founded by architect Francesco Pierzazzi in London in 2014.

The studio’s previous projects include the refurbishment of a maisonette in west London, which contrasted the building’s existing industrial character with minimal, modern additions.

The photography is by Lorenzo Zandri.

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