by New British Design
Awards RIBA South West Award 2019
‘Making Annette’s life better’ has inspired a desirable house that is gloriously about being a great place to be in, to enjoy being in the open countryside and to reach out and connect with it.
The extension is unashamedly modern and open and acts as a counterpoint to the cob and stone Grade II listed farmhouse. The dialogue between them adds a positive energy, and indeed a legibility to the different rooms within. Although the project did not include any major works to the original farmhouse, the new extension unlocked the circulation by linking at ground and first floor levels, to allow wheelchair access to both new and old. The two structures have been connected through a mediating glazed link, through which the doors represent a kind of time portal, giving a generous entrance at ground level and a place to pause on the upper.
The agricultural building form and scale of the extension sits well in the surrounding farming context. The materials of zinc, steel, locally sourced larch and sweet chestnut are held together with a joinery lightness and attention to detail. Viewed from different sides, the composition changes, horizontal battens across vertical zinc seams to large glazing framed by dark steel portals.
This is a house that is for the enjoyment of the changes of light through a day and indeed across all seasons. Details such as truly level threshold ‘with no bump’, a covered area for getting out of the car, a larder creatively fitted out with sliding shelves and a smooth path to the large vegetable garden and polytunnel are very important. Generous proportioned windows throw light across all parts of the interior. The flows of the house work well, with the lift in a central position yet not prominent and bedroom upstairs with terrace and distant views. The main space, being the entry and kitchen, is minimally furnished and a dark continuous resin floor flows through to the study. White walls with accents of timber complete this small palette of finishes that has been handled well to produce a warmth and welcome in a modern home.
The client is clearly very happy with the result and says it has transformed her life. This is the work of a very dedicated architect who has taken the brief for an accessible home to heart and worked closely with the client to create inspiring architecture for living better
Internal area 145.00 m²
Contractor Jon Garrity
Structural Engineer Simon Bastone Associates