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Surrey home transformation with 6 custom doors

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Urban Front was thrilled to be part of this spectacular house transformation in Surrey, creating a series of bespoke door solutions that were both functional and beautiful. Crafted with trademark care and precision, a total of six custom doors were brought to life using the finest European oak. This included a statement front door with fingerprint entry, an automated, double bifold garage door and multiple internal doors to elegantly complement different areas of the home.

We caught up with Elena Draganova, founder and lead architect of Nova Architecture, to discover more about the inspiration, process and outcome of this remarkable project.

Project details

Architect: NOVA architecture+design   insta @eld_nova
Structural engineer:
Main contractor:
Front door: Urban Front flush Porto design in European oak (1500mm x 2100mm)
Bi-fold garage door: Urban Front Parma design double bi-fold garage in European oak (5400mm x 2400mm)
Back door: Urban Front flush Ice V design in European oak (1270mm x 2250mm)
Internal doors: fire-rated (FD30) Porto design in European oak (varying sizes)

 UF: What was your initial brief from the client?

ED: The very first brief from the client was to re-design a single-storey rear extension with a contemporary approach. This had been approved as part of the re-development of the main house building. 

We had just received the planning permission for the new rear extension design when the client asked us to work on the next and final phase of the site redevelopment. This second brief was a lot more complex and included an extension of the utility room, the addition of a large garage, a gym, a golf simulation studio that doubles as a cinema room and a cellar.

The project was also to cover the design of the front driveway and the whole garden (with garden designers We Love Plants). 

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UF: What was your vision for the entrance and garage?

ED: The aspiration for the garage space was to feel like a showroom connected to the house. It needed to be visible and easily accessible internally, but still maintain privacy from outside.  

Externally I aimed for a garage entrance that is minimal and understated. The front oak and glass gable and porch (designed by someone else) of the house are dominant and the new external staircase enhances the grandeur.

The garage wall frames and enhances the courtyard feel. For me the beauty is in the simplicity of the oak garage door against the white render. 

The garage is a continuation of the house. The space is visible from the golf simulation study via a minimal fire rated glass partition, we have ample natural light, delicate lighting scheme and resin flooring. 

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UF: What was the most challenging part of the build?

ED: The site slopes considerably north to south, which has its pros and cons.

The level changes gave us the opportunity to design a large part of the new building into the hill and then there was the challenge of fine-tuning the floor and ceiling levels to work with the existing house. Plus to meet the technical requirements for the golf studio, the design had to be considerate and sympathetic to the beautiful setting at the foot of Reigate Hill. I think we achieved that and the planning approval process was very straightforward. 

Designing and building below ground level is complicated and there were many technical challenges, but we worked with a great team - Haworth McCall as structural engineer and Howe Construction as contractor.

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UF: Favourite part of the build for you?

ED: It is very hard to choose! I think the gym is an amazing space, as is the staircase lobby with the heavy timber doors and herringbone floor. 

UF: Your thoughts on the doors now they are fitted?

The doors are beautiful. I would love to have Urban Front doors on all my projects!  Elena Draganova, Nova Architects