Natural palette brings light into this suburban extension

A simple combination of unadorned slate, sandstone and oak has produced much more than the sum of its parts in this house in the suburbs of Glasgow

Getting to know a house takes time. The owner of this one, in the affluent Glasgow suburb of Milngavie, had insider knowledge, however, since it used to belong to her parents. When she and her husband bought the house three years ago, following a stint of working in London, she knew instantly how she wanted it to look. “I really wanted to keep the light and I wanted to be able to see the beautiful exposed stonework, but I didn’t know how to do it,” she recalls. Cue Donald Bentley, the architect and director of Network Five. His vision has transformed this large Victorian villa into a beautifully functioning family home. “I was inspired by the lovely natural wood,” says Donald, caressing the stripped-back original banister leading upstairs. What struck the architect on his first visit was the warmth he felt when stepping through the front door. His mind was made up: he wanted to create a clear distinction between the old and the new aspects of the house.
When initial discussions began almost two years ago, Donald’s client asked for a large kitchen, a family bathroom and a big utility room complete with garden access (there are three young children in the family). The house looks on to Tannoch Loch, giving it a very desirable focal point. It’s a conservation area, too, so Donald had to enter into discussions with the planning department at an early stage.
“We had really quite ambitious ideas, so we had to be very careful that what we did wasn’t to the detriment of the area,” he says. “We also had to consider the neighbours on either side.” As a result, the extension has no impact on the front of the house (in fact, you can hardly see it) and you only really get a sense of the new space as you move through the house towards the back.

This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 112-125, issue 96.

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Words Catherine Coyle
Photography Paul Tyagi
What An extension to a large Victorian family villa
Where Milngavie, Glasgow
Architect Donald Bentley, Network Five 0141 352 7972