Barn conversion

 This single storey, curtilage listed, former cattle barn had been semi-converted previously for use as a cinema room but, after the client’s children had left home, it had become disused other than for general storage.

The brief was to convert this into a self-contained annex in which the client’s sister could stay without dependence upon her family during her frequent visits to the Peak District.

The conversion creates a modest yet comfortable 'studio apartment' with a mezzanine sleeping gallery nestled in the roof volume. Definition of areas within the open plan is provided by the existing timber trusses which provide 'bays' in which sleeping, living and kitchen/dining spaces are set out within.

Forester’s Lodge

Forester’s Lodge is a Grade 2 Listed former Coach House. The building is an interesting example of its kind, symmetrically organized around a central tower, however, a freak flash flood rendered the building uninhabitable and our client had to move into rented accommodation. This was seen as an opportunity to re-model and extend the building.

We simplified the window patterns to create more light and drama. False ceilings were removed which, in addition to exposing the historic roof structure, allowed us to introduce a series of galleries with service space, such as shower rooms and dressing areas, tucked beneath.

We also built 2 additional bedrooms. The approach taken to preserve the character of the historic building was to connect these with a simple glass link with a lead roof as a contrasting contemporary intervention. This link created an entrance with sunken living space and a gallery above.

The British Council

 Formerly the grim Headquarters of The East German Trade Mission, this splendid turn of the century villa was in a sad state of disrepair.
We helped The British Council secure funding for the project by developing a proposal which resolved the serious problems the building faced in order to meet strict fire and earthquake codes in a way which did not destroy the buildings character and charm.
The project to restore and reconfigure the building took five years to complete. We worked closely with the British Council, initially in the UK, and then extensively in Romania. Local contractors and craft workers were used for the construction in the difficult early years of democracy in Romania.

May problems were encountered in a country devastated by years of dictatorship. The project was successfully completed and now is The British Council Headquarters in Romania. As well as the necessary office space, the building provides a library open to the public, a teachers resource centre, a café and a small language school.

Hallcliffe House

Hallcliffe House is a Grade 2 listed building in Parwich, Derbyshire.

When our client’s bought the house it was in poor condition and in need of complete renovation.

We put together a project plan which involved the early selection of a builder to start urgent repair work which did not need Listed Building Consent giving us breathing space to come up with a design proposal for alterations both internally and externally and to address the need to improve the house’s energy efficiency.

At the same time costs were constantly being evaluated to keep a track on the projected final budget whilst work was progressing on site.

This approach was not our normal one, but was necessary to avoid the building deteriorating further and in order to meet our client’s timeframe.

We obtained Listed Building Consent for the work and full Building Regulation approval, negotiating compromises when conflicts occurred. These mainly centred on the requirement to retain historic fabric and at the same time improve the buildings thermal performance. This was achieved by installing a biomass boiler and under-floor heating as well as adding roof insulation. Double glazing was not acceptable to the Planning Authority and tightly fitting folding shutters were fitted which created an attractive alternative.

The building is now a comfortable modern home with its historic fabric legible and restored but with the benefit of light, warmth and a much better relationship to the original formal garden.