The client had originally intended to demolish this house and build a new replacement. This proposal already had planning consent obtained by another practice and work had progressed to the purchase of £50,000 worth of timber for the new framing elements. However, the prohibitive overall costs involved resulted in them asking us to extend and upgrade the existing building. Designed by Michael Twigg in the 1960’s it had input from Ove Arup and utilised a semi exposed glulam frame. Constructed in a period before thermal efficiency and airtightness were not seen as issues it needed a complete overclad and internal upgrading. With the benefit of a large garden and spectacular views of the South Downs, the client’s brief was to create a retreat facility in the main house, in which organically grown food from the garden provided the meals. The small annex we added was for the owner’s private use and also housed a new wood pellet boiler room and a garage. We made a detailed inventory of the already stored timber and designed all the new structural and cladding elements around what was available. The flat roof areas were fitted with concealed PV panels and a solar thermal array. The interiors have polished concrete floors, clay plaster walls and minimal decorations. All the kitchen, shower rooms, and built in furniture are bespoke items designed by us. The close collaboration between architect, client and contractor made for a thoroughly positive experience for all involved.
Design Team: Nic Pople, Serena Evans
Contractor: Douch Partners
Awards: 2012 Sussex Heritage Trust Award for Sustainability, Small Scale Residential Award, Commended Scheme in the Restorations and Extensions category.