Project details


Cookham Dean








Merlins is a substantial house located in Cookham Dean, it sits high up on the hill with views overlooking The Cliveden Estate and woods beyond. The brief was to create to focus on exploiting the amazing views, opening up the existing kitchen and create a subtle and contextual timber addition to the rear.


Merlins is a typical 1940s bay fronted house, which has had a number of pastiche extensions over the years. We were keen to embrace a different approach, to create a design that referenced the existing detailing but created a contemporary design.

Merlins has exposed timber rafter details to all of the eaves conditions and exposed timbers to the underside of bay windows. We were inspired by the idea of taking a simple timber element and repeating it to create an elegant but simple solution for the rear addition. The external timber frame is based on a 2.3m grid, vertically and horizontally, this creates a neat square proportion as a base which allows the repetitive roof detailing to float over the top, creating a cantilever and much needed solar protection on a South East facing façade. The timber beams are exposed internally and externally emulating the existing timber details. We located recesses in the frame to reduce the appearance of the members and also to limit the appearance of any future movement.

The home grown FSC Douglas fir has been treated with WOCA white external oil. The sarking board is Canadian Douglas Fir, kiln dried and has also been treated with WOCA white external oil. The exposed base plate and bolt connections are stainless steel and recessed into the timber.


The glass line sits in board of the timber frame with a clear zone between the two and so from certain views the timber frame hides the vertical metal frame of the glass to give the appearance that the glass is frameless. Each detail was carefully articulated so that the timber frame appeared to be beautifully simple and unassuming on the original façade.