When a homeowner decides they want more space at the rear of their period house, a ‘glass box’ extension is an increasingly common option. It’s a great way to create a bright and light extension, with the contemporary aesthetic contrasting pleasingly with the Victorian brickwork.

But how do you to make your glass extension stand out from the crowd? The answer is to make innovative design decisions and use exceptional materials. Here, Patrick Owens from architects Patrick + Rosie explains how he applied this approach to his client’s stunning side return extension in South London. And he reveals how Minima’s seamless sliding doors helped create a truly distinctive space.

Kirkstall Road Ultraline black seamless sliding doors installation


Tell us a bit about your client’s project…

Well, our clients have a really beautiful Victorian property in Balham, but they knew when they bought it that it would need some fairly major changes to make it work for them and their family. The house is large, but it was made up of a series of small, dark rooms. Our brief was to create a light, open space for our clients and their two children to enjoy.

For the rear extension, we raised the ceiling height which meant that the main feature of the new space became the distinctive height and size of the glazed, sliding doors. We’ve ended up with two, enormous 3.2 metre high sliders which open up the space to the garden.

Kirkstall Road Ultraline black seamless sliding doors installation


What was the biggest challenge you faced with this build?

The glazing was far and away the biggest challenge with this project. The design involved lots of pared-back finishes such as a polished concrete flooring and a feature timber ceiling. So the doors had to be absolutely perfect to sit alongside these exquisite materials. They became a key part of the look we were trying to create.

Kirkstall Road Ultraline black seamless sliding doors installation


Why did you choose Ultraline Sliding Doors?

It really came down to the fact that they were one of only two companies that could meet our requirements. We wanted very large doors with as narrow a frame as possible. It wasn’t something we were willing to compromise on. With a modern design, if you go for a wider frame it just doesn’t work. We also loved the fact that the Ultraline door system is handleless which tied in so well with our vision for this property.

Kirkstall Road Ultraline black seamless sliding doors installation


As an architect, what do you look for in a glazing contractor?

It’s really a mixture of quality, design and price. From a design point of view, the frame size and locking mechanisms are really key. We also look at details such as drainage and how the doors will sit within the building. And it’s also really important to find a company in which the staff are happy to work with you collaboratively.

Working with Minima was a great experience from start to finish. We agreed a timeline for the work, which they stuck to and delivered everything exactly as planned. As soon as the doors were in, it meant we could have the concrete floor poured. The end result looks amazing and we’d happily work with Minima again.

Kirkstall Road Ultraline black seamless sliding doors installation


You can read more about Patrick’s architecture and construction company here.

Do you need seamless sliding doors for your own extension? If so, give us a call to find out more about Minima’s award-winning doors.