Frog Castle is a grand period property in the heart of Alderley Edge, Cheshire. The brief was to remodel the ground floor living spaces and to create additional area in the form of a ‘glass box’. As well as this, the basement was to be converted to a games room, cinema room and utility spaces, and the upper floor bedrooms and en-suite accommodation was developed.

A key element of the design was the connection of ground floor to basement floor, and the client’s desire for it not to feel like an underground / secondary floor. We achieved this by looking closely at the position and design of the stair. By positioning the stair off the kitchen, any family member using the basement must circulate past the living spaces, promoting interaction. The stair itself is wide, open and positioned under an expanse of glazing, making the sent and descent an inviting event.

Though highly contemporary, the extension needed to sit comfortably in context with the traditional house. Externally and internally, careful consideration was given to the interfaces between old and new, traditional and contemporary. The period features of the house needed to transition to contemporary and be almost unnoticed.

Like most residential briefs, there was a requirement to open the house to the garden. Here, this was achieved in an inventive way by opening the corner of the extension – the tall, 3.2m glass doors sliding back into pockets to leave a structureless corner, further lightened by a 4x2m glass section overhead. The corner of the building seemingly disappears to create a connection to the garden, perfectly facilitating inside-outside living.