Although there had been extensions carried out to the house in the 1960s and around 12 years ago, the layout wasn’t working for the family and they were keen to add another extension to create a more balanced look to the property.

Working with Chapter 7 Architects, a design was created for a new oak-framed extension, supplied by Living Oak, and featuring tile hung and timber clad sections. In addition, the layout of the existing sections of the house were redesigned to suit modern family life.

Project Notes

  • Project: Renovation and extension
  • Location: Surrey
  • Build time: Oct 2015 – June 2016
  • Size: 420m²

Helen was keen that the extension should mirror the older sections of the house and that the timber frame was visible from both the exterior as well as the interior. To achieve this, bricks for the new gable end of the extension had to be sawn to fit between the beams.

Details such as the combination of herringbone and traditional brick patterns, as well as the double-glazed bronze casement windows, mean that the extension blends in with the period elements of the house.

Internally, the warren of small rooms that once dominated the layout has been opened up through the removal of internal walls and by relocating the staircase.

The extension has been linked to the house by a new dual-height central space – used as a main family living space and entrance hall – flanked by an expanse of timber bi-folds and lit from above by a roof lantern. Within the extension lies the new kitchen with the master bedroom above.

Open plan Shaker style kitchen with exposed beams

The painted Shaker-style kitchen by Martin Moore features a dining space and exposed beams. The French doors lead to a covered walkway that connects the garage and gym to the house

Shaker kitchen with exposed timber beams

The classic lines of the new kitchen are complimented by Silestone worktops and neutral limestone floors. The breakfast bar/island separates the space from the family living area that now connects the old house with the new extension

Designing a Home in the Green Belt

Allan MacMillan of C7 Architects explains the intricacies of designing an extension to a historic home in the countryside:

Allan Macmillan of C7 Architects

Design in the Green Belt under normal circumstances is challenging enough at the best of times. Consequently a brief requesting a significant increase in floor area to the 17th century cottage with little room for planning gain in the Surrey Countryside was a daunting but exciting opportunity for C7 Architects.

Adapting the 2014 Permitted Development planning rules allowing front extensions was the key to the opportunity for the home. Permitted Development had been updated in 2010 and presented an opportunity to attain permission for a significant front extension. The design had then to revolve around developing the extension with contextual architecture from the historic cottage, and the use of an internalised oak frame for the quality of interior sought by the client.

C7 Architects with the support of Paradigm Planning devised a phased planning strategy that lead to a series of progressive planning applications culminating in the realisation of our client’s design brief.

However this was only the theoretical aspect of the process, taking the permissions to site to implement a built reality that delivered a cohesive and integrated architectural solution, was going to need some detailed design co ordination, an open minded client and the support of a hands on contractor with an eye for quality in the finish. C7 Architects developed the detail design and then integrated the oak frame model designed by Living Oak to produce a set of detailed drawings.

As with all projects this in theory was simple enough, but implementing the design and remodelling the 17th century building fabric with an integrated oak frame was not without its challenges on site. The teamwork between the client and Bob Pierce of Rostrum, the main contractor has resulted in an architectural solution for the building that weaves 20th century technology and space into a 17th century country cottage. This has resulted in an exciting and warm fusion of history and materials that make this home such a special project.

Entrance hall with oak staircase and exposed oak beams

The double height entrance hall sits within the extension and features the new oak staircase

Oak framed double height landing

The exposed oak frame, made from French oak, adds character and drama to the double height central spaces, whilst rooflights ensure the new space is flooded with light

Master bedroom with exposed beams

The combination of exposed oak beams, engineered oak flooring and new bronze casement windows mean the new spaces are just as characterful as the original sections of the house

Freestanding copper bath

The freestanding copper bath in the master en suite contributes to the high-end feel of the interiors

Fitted dressing room

The new master bedroom in the extension features an en suite bathroom and walk-in dressing room

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