‘Solar Scythe’ is a solution to a common design problem; what do you do with a north-facing, dark, cold kitchen and living space?

The existing separate kitchen and dining room were oriented about 20 degrees west of north, and were very poorly constructed. Too dark to use without artificial light, too small and the cellular rooms not suitable for modern living.

Removing the dividing wall meant the insertion of a steel column and beam to support the first floor and back wall of the house over.

The spaces were increased by extending into the garden. Frequently the roof of a room extension will throw the interior space into further darkness, and there is little net increase in good space as a result. To address this, the new roof was supported on a canilever beam traversing a glass slice in the roof, which allows maximum light into the original floor area.

Secondly, the new elevation was cranked to orientate the space towards the setting sun, and the wall between garden and interior was dissolved using curtain wall glazing, which has much less frame than conventional windows.

Finally, the roof was pitched up towards the sky. This provides more visible sky where the plan is deepest and roof is broadest.

A very even light results.

The extension is constructed to passive standards, with certified passivhaus component curtain wall, quadrupel pane roof lights, passive wall and roof construction, thermal bridge free detailing and excellent airtightness control. The result is an architectural device for the harvesting of solar radiation.

Triangular plan shapes are intrinsically problematic from a space planning perspective because in a simple triangular space, you will always have an internal corner of space that is less than useful.

We have developed a variation on this theme, where we truncate the internal corner, and this line becomes the location of an entrance to the space. The balance of the severed triangle, become an external cover. This is particularly appropriate for countries where rainfall is frequent. A covered awning is a must to create a place where one has breathing space to negotiate the door interaction, when weather is an issue. It also allows flexibility, when a door can be left open for ventilation, and a heavy Summer shower is protected against.

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