Private Client

Crosscut House

A striking complete refurbishment and extension of a tired 1980's house at the end of a late Victorian terrace in Cambridge.


The spaces are centred on a feature staircase of CNC-milled birch ply stained a rich red. Jewel-like in its double-height alcove, it seems to stand alone as a separate piece of furniture, signalling the heart of the home.

The original house was cramped, its ground floor dark, incoherent and incorporated a garage. The new design strips out the interior and adds 80m2 of new space, creating a free-flowing, bright, light and airy family home.

The new layout harmonizes the relationship between the various spaces, their uses programmed with svelte fitted furniture made from a restrained palette of materials – limed oak, white Carrera marble, and black limestone.

The ground floor spaces are now all interconnected through new full-height sliding pocket doors that afford uninterrupted vistas right through to the garden and give a generous open-plan feel – without losing the ability to close off spaces as required.


Generous new windows on the east and south walls, along with a crisp new west rooflight through the rear extension, fill the space with light. The character of the spaces changes as the play of light and shadow gently evolves from sun rise to sun set.

The overarching concept re-imagines the building as a mews home, accentuating its differences to its neighbours. The diagonally laid Siberian larch boards on the front porch are a signature statement, while the grey painted brick façade complements new aluminium windows.

Crosscut House
Private Client
September 2017
Cambridge, UK
Alan DempseyShimin CaoAlan Ma
Quantity surveyor: Nex Interior Design: Nex Structural engineer: Cambridge Architectural Research