The client's initial request was to build an extension to a single family house, making it future proof and updating it to fit modern multigenerational living. The bulky brick house from the 1950's is situated on a deep plot with a distinct tree in the proximity of the house and a panoramic view towards the open fields behind it.
After some research it turned out the trick could be done without increasing the volume but with adding just two elements; stairs and a balcony. The choice was made to bring the amount of interventions down to a minimum; the existing house remains mainly intact and is split up into two floors with a shared entrance. The ground floor with its wide corridors proves ideal for accessibility, while the largely untouched layout of the living quarters provide a familiar feeling for the older residents. On the ground floor only technical and storage rooms are converted into a night area, with a bedroom overviewing the garden. On the upper floor most load bearing walls are preserved and the rooms are reorganized for living centered around an elevated view on the landscape at the back of the plot which stretches to the horizon. An underused existing terrace at the front of the building finally finds its purpose as an evening terrace for the kitchen. The only things missing in the basic structure of the house for this set-up were a bigger outside space and a connection to the garden for the upper unit.
Therefore a balcony was added as the (only) extension of the original volume.
It functions as a counterpart for the tree and sits comfortably in the protecting company of its surrounding branches.The balustrade enhances this cocoon-effect and makes the transition towards the authentic brick façade.
The stairs connecting the balcony with the garden fold around the corner in front of a blind wall, leaving the garden views for the downstairs unit unhindered. The staircase also serves as a secondary private entrance for the upper floor. The balcony doubles as a parasol-like sunshade for the ground floor terrace.