Quantock View — Contemporary Extension + Refurbishment Somerset
In a lovely rural setting on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this house had been extended over the years creating additions that no longer worked well together and had little connection with the surrounding gardens.
Our brief was to extend and rearrange the accommodation of the house so as to make better use of the space within the home, to add additional accommodation to support the needs of our clients’ growing family and to improve the relationship with the gardens taking in views to the nearby Quantock Hills.
The result was a classic but contemporary approach; respect for the traditional, ‘public’ facing, front of house and following removal of earlier ad-hoc additions, replacement of these with a resolutely modern, contemporary addition, offering a flow of undulating roofs reducing towards the garden.
Materials were selected to reference, but also contrast with, the existing house where new walls finished in render show a clear relationship, and zinc clad elements distinguish the new from the traditional. The key views across the garden informed the offsetting of the axes of the three gables, resulting in the rotated forms that frame views and also create connected rooms within single and double-height spaces.
To succeed with this approach construction detailing and understanding of construction techniques had to be precise, thoroughly thought through and well executed. However this is not architecture at any cost, intelligent design has been used to succeed with a modern intervention that balances sense of place with the aspirations of modern living. The scheme is an example of the collaboration and trust invested in Louise Crossman Architects by our clients to deliver their ambitions.
“Good at teasing out what the clients want, advising what would work, calm advice whilst getting the details right” — Client
The initial sketch proposals sought to retain the existing rear extension of the house to focus the available budget on the new accommodation. However, the existing extension was restricting the free flow between rooms that was sought.
Once it was decided that the previous extension could be replaced, we realised that by fanning the new extension into segments the spaces gelled and worked with, rather than against, the rocky outcrop that surrounded the rear of the house.
Creating Concept Sketches to show options is a simple, yet useful way, to explore alternatives.
Removal of the previous extension also allowed freer choice of form and materials, thus the notion of retaining the traditional front of house contrasting with the more contemporary rear, could be worked through.
Planning approval for the scheme was uneventful, with these concept sketches included in the application to help demonstrate the design approach, and approval was granted in the statutory timeframe.