The clients for this project have always maintained that it transformed their lives. They made a decision to extend their existing 1920s house in suburban London, rather than buying a second home in the country. Our approach was to open up the back of the house onto the garden, which featured a beautiful wisteria, now framed by sliding French windows. The new part of the house incorporates an open-plan kitchen, dining room and garden room, which doubles up as a gallery space for the family’s art collection. The garden can be glimpsed from the front of the house through glazed screens, and connections are also forged between the garden and the upstairs bedrooms by means of a pivoting steel staircase which can be lowered into position, or drawn up out of the way, as required.