The Upside Down House
Balcombe, West Sussex
The remodelling and extension of a 1950s
house located on a steeply sloping site,
creating a contemporary new glazed and oak
louver-clad extension to the front, alongside new
open plan spaces throughout which make
the most of views across the valley to the rear.

The Upside Down House
Balcombe, West Sussex
Stages Completed
The Upside Down House is a detached property in the rural village of Balcombe, West Sussex. The house is situated on a steep slope, appearing as a single storey dwelling from road level and double storey from the rear garden. The original house was tired in appearance, having remained relatively unchanged since its construction in the 1950s. A large double garage dominated the front elevation, blocking light into the building and creating a series of awkward spaces internally.

The project involved the remodelling of the entire interior, a new extension to the front of the house and a large balcony to the rear. The new front extension replaced the previous double garage, but also included a glazed entrance with large oak front door. The remainder of the extension was clad with vertical oak louvers, which not only provide privacy to the internal rooms, but softened the appearance of the building at the same time as giving it a more articulated and contemporary appearance.

The roof was also re-clad using powder coated steel sheets, all the walls were rendered, and new aluminium double glazed windows installed throughout. To the rear, this included large sliding folding doors leading out onto a terrace surrounded with frameless glazed balustrade to help capture the views over the valley beyond.

The updated ground floor now includes a large entrance hall, kitchen, living/dining room, study, utility and new guest suite. The lower ground floor has four bedrooms, a family bathroom and master ensuite with walk-in-wardrobe.

The new internal layouts retain the essence of the original building combined with a more open-plan setting to cater for the clients more contemporary lifestyle. The fixtures, fittings and finishes were used in all rooms to modernise the interior but still create a homely environment for the owners and their family.

Using delicate timber elements to articulate the front elevation, the new building adds a modern, yet sensitive structure to the rural village and has already become popular with local residents.
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