Project Description

Contemporary modernisation of a 1960s dwelling

Modernising older properties to meet contemporary fashions is becoming increasingly popular across the UK. These projects often involve a unique twist on a fairly standard upgrade, and usually means a few structural issues will need to be resolved to achieve what the client is hoping for. SWJ Consulting were called in to work on this project, extending a 1960’s dwelling in Old Town, Swindon to have a self-contained annex on the first floor and a new swimming pool in the garden. The annex also has a cantilever first floor kitchen which involved complex twisting geometry.

Overall, this has been an interesting project to work on with A’Bear and Ball. It involved a mixture of load bearing techniques in the masonry construction using steel beams and timber frames.

Adopting a mixed material strategy on a project can bring programme and sequencing issues to a project, however, it was important to us that we used the correct material for the job. The timber was used to form the roof and first floor walls which were all at slightly different angles to create the twisting geometry. Steel beams were used to provide support to the new first floor walls and masonry was used to support the steel beams.

Whilst this was an interesting project to work on, it was not the simplest. The shape of the extension cantilever did have one challenge that had to be resolved. Where the cantilever joined the current house, it naturally was creating uplift on the back-span. We managed to resolve the issue and came up with a tie-system which would secure the cantilever to the foundations of the current property. Tie systems are excellent if the original structure is able to hold the weight of the backspan. In this case, it was, and the tie system was able to resolve the uplift issue.


Project Team

Client: Greywethers

Architect: A’Bear and Ball

Contractor: Local builder

To complete the modernisation of the property a swimming pool was added to the garden, and the final design of the cantilever kitchen gave the whole site a modern if not futuristic look.

At SWJ Consulting, we are also excited and inspired by unique builds and love working on them to resolve their challenges. If you have a project and need help to resolve the structural issues that come with a unique shape, give us a call on 01993 225085 or email us at