Mount Pleasant

A steel framed garden room extension

Project
Information

Location: Bradford-on-Avon

Client: Private

Status: Completed 2016

Key Materials: Painted steel frame, Cedar cladding, Ashlar walling, Aluminium framed glass sliding doors

Occupying a hillside site with good views south over Bradford on Avon, this intricate project proved challenging due to the extent of structural works required to support the existing house above. Fortunate timing meant that our client was able to make use of the contractor who had recently completed a similarly challenging project at Cornbury Mill as well as sharing his desire to achieve high standards of finish.

The uncompromising design removes a lower section of bay window and replaces it with a larger, heavily glazed extension and wrap around slot window which allows natural light to penetrate deep into the house. Internal reorganisation provides much improved open plan living, dining and kitchen areas, facilitated by the installation of a fire resistant glazed screen and new timber staircase to the upper levels. The result is a light and bright multi-purpose room where the family spend much of their time together, providing a new direct and open relationship between house and garden.

We would firstly to say thank you very much to everyone involved at Designscape for making the project such a success; we really do now have an amazing house!

We initially met with Spencer and felt very confident that he understood what we wanted to create for our family home. The design process was detailed and communication was strong throughout. Our ideas were kept central to the process, and any issues were addressed and resolved considerately and creatively. When Spencer passed the project on to his colleague Alex, the change was seamless and the thoughtful professionalism continued.

It’s fair to say that working with Designscape was a pleasure, from start to finish.

The Client

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Court Farm Barn

A Listed Barn Conversion

Project
Information

Location: Langridge, Bath

Client: Private

Status: Completed

Key Materials: Steel support structure, Oak shutters and doors, Biomass heating system

Situated adjacent to the Farm House, the Grade II* listed former threshing barn had fallen into a state of disrepair and the proposal was developed to repair and convert the structure to provide ancillary accommodation to the main house, to include a home-work space, kitchen, bathroom and guest bedrooms. The new functions are contained within a series of free standing white timber boxes to the west end, leaving two- thirds of the original double-height volume intact. The existing modern steel frame is utilized to support the new roof structure without distributing the extra load onto the historic walls. As part of the first phase of works, a new wood-burning boiler in an adjacent outbuilding provides heating and hot water to both the farm house and converted barn.

We are very pleased with the finished results. The Farm and the Barn presented a number of challenges due to the building’s listed status and subsequent protracted negotiations with the local planning authority. Listed status restricted our options for conversion, but Designscape’s strategic approach was invaluable in clarifying our options. This included prioritising a green heating system which now serves not only the barn but also the rest of the farm. When the listed building officer brokered advice that the Barn could potentially fall into disrepair and become the responsibility of the local authority, this led to a practical agreement about a sympathetic design and flexible arrangement to proceed with planning.

The capacity of the architect, engineers and the builder to solve unexpected problems throughout the build process was also an important factor in the success of this project. This included the various challenges of stabilising the walls, the construction of the roof, the provision of new steel and the method of construction using internal scaffolding, and also the procurement and fitting of the entrance glazing to achieve very neat fixings etc.

The building has been brought back into use again and now also fulfils a role in the local community. The renovation has been very well received by neighbours including the church congregation who gather annually in it for Harvest Festival auction, Christmas and other events throughout the year. Even the construction process pragmatically involved the farming neighbour's labour and machinery to very good effect. The flexible use of the barn also includes family gatherings and an occasional wedding reception.

It is a wonderful space and Designscape have managed not only to provide flexible accommodation within but also to preserve the original character and qualities of a barn

The Client

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Bloomfield Avenue

A modern garden room kitchen extension

Project
Information

Location: Bath

Client: Private

Status: Completed 2013

Key Materials: Insulated render, Aluminium framed triple track sliding door system, frameless glass roof light, patent glazing

Our brief in developing designs for this project was to replace a small galley kitchen, dark breakfast room, tired utility room and underused conservatory. The end result needed to be light and bright, provide a direct and open relationship between the house and garden, with enough space to function as a multi-purpose room where the family would spend much of their time together. Our proposal created a new open plan space which stretched across the back of the house containing kitchen and family room. We moved the family spaces closer to the garden and the light and utility room into the house where natural light was less important. Large areas of glazing bring high levels of natural daylight into the house. A full width sliding door and floor to ceiling window system blurs the boundary between inside and outside, bringing the garden into the house and making the garden more accessible and usable.

We started working with Spencer Back from Designscape in late 2013 on the design of a kitchen and living room extension to our Victorian house in Bath. We had carefully researched and interviewed a number of local architect firms. We chose Designscape for two main reasons: 1. we felt that their work most closely reflected the approach and style of what we wanted our extension to be, and 2. from the first meeting we felt confident that Spencer really understood our requirements and was someone that we were going to get along with. Spencer also found us an excellent builder, and the partnership between Designscape and the builder ensured that the whole process from design through to completion was incredibly smooth and stress-free. The results have been stunning and we could not be more pleased with the new space. It has the ‘wow’ factor in spades and everyone who comes to the house absolutely loves it. The BANES LABC award for ‘Best Domestic Extension’ is the icing on the cake and proof of the success of the whole project.

The Clients

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Cedar House

A remodelled and extended home in a Conservation Area

Project
Information

Location: Westbury Park, Bristol

Client: Private

Status: Completed 2010

Key Materials: Cedar shingles, Composite timber, Aluminium window system

The client had purchased a dilapidated 1950s house in a residential street in Bristol, and wanted to transform it into a modern, bright and low energy family home. After discussions about the merits of retaining all, part or none of the existing accommodation, it was decided to leave the front part of the house in tact with a new extension to the rear. The retained section was renovated and included a new slate roof, metal windows and was overclad with insulating render to improve the thermal performance. The rear of the house took on a softer character using western red cedar cladding and contained the new heart of the house; a double height dining space with direct access into the kitchen and a new staircase leading to a first floor gallery.

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Hardy House

A home for an artist

Project
Information

Location: Box, Wiltshire

Client: Hardy House Gallery

Status: Phase 1 Complete

Key Materials: Bath Stone, Galvanised Steel, Patent glazing, Resin Concrete flooring, Ash timber flooring.

Hardy House is a former club building in the heart of a Wiltshire village. Converted in the 1980’s the building needed updating and alteration to meet the client’s needs whose brief called for the refurbishment of the existing house with the provision of new home working facilities for their artistic activities. Comprehensive refurbishment of the existing house created a clean, modern interior with studio and gallery as well as more conventional spaces and includes improvements to reduce running costs and increase thermal performance. A new glazed canopy to the rear provides a useful veranda space to enjoy views across the garden and a sheltered space to park the car and enter the house. Planning consent was also obtained for an independent studio building in the garden, as yet unbuilt.

Hardy House was short listed for the AJ Retrofit Awards 2014

Designscape Architects' first class design and build management service gave us an outstanding house at affordable cost.

The Clients

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Calderwood

C20th house update, extension and alteration

Project
Information

Location: Bathwick, Bath

Client: Private

Status: Completed 2012

Key Materials: Western Red Cedar, White brick, Blue engineering brick

This detached house was originally constructed in 1965 and is located on a suburban street close to the centre of Bath. The clients bought the property with the desire to upgrade and extend the accommodation to suit their growing family. The new alterations have a minimal impact on the front of the house, instead providing a dramatic transformation of the living spaces at the rear and improving their connection to the garden. This has been achieved by extending outwards and to the side which, with the removal of the existing external and internal walls at ground level, creates a generous open plan living space. An additional bedroom at first floor was also provided and the rest of the house was refurbished to a provide a thoroughly modern and more energy efficient living environment.

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Kelston Road

A contemporary and innovative home

Project
Information

Location: Bath

Client: Private

Status: Completed 2015

Key Materials: Douglas fir, Western red cedar

This project is a single storey annexe on the Kelston Road, designed as a home for our client’s elderly parents, within the curtilage of their existing home.

The site is located on the outskirts of Bath within the Greenbelt, we created a design which both preserves and enhances the surrounding environment, converting and extending a former garage. The use of a green roof and materials sympathetic to the original dwelling allowed the annexe to become a complementary addition to the site.

Thank you so much for all you have done in the last two years helping us to achieve a beautiful living space for Mum and Dad.

We can hardly believe that the process is almost complete and how our lives have already fallen into a very comfortable combination of independence and mutual support. As we have said to you all, we really couldn’t be happier with the house. It is a true reflection of your talent that we have such a spacious, light and interesting house on such a modest footprint and with all the planning constraints. It really does have the wow factor! You have all been so professional and supportive throughout and we have felt very safe in your hands.

The Clients

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Cornbury Mill

Modern refurbishment of historic watermill

Project
Information

Location: Devizes, Wiltshire

Client: Private

Status: Completed 2015

Key Materials: Brick, Timber, Steel

Described as “a picture book C18th mill house set in beautiful mature gardens”, the project to refurbish an old watermill near Devizes turned out to be very challenging. Designscape were appointed to convert the mill for use as a calming weekend retreat. The building had previously undergone many changes and was dark and damp, suffering from low ceilings and made up of many small rooms. Surprisingly perhaps it is not listed and the alterations did not require planning permission.

Our approach was to undertake a sympathetic renovation, stripping back recent alterations and opening up the floorplan to let in more daylight.This simple architectural intervention transformed the interior by providing a light and airy open plan living space, aided by the use of light finishes throughout. Major challenges were overcome during construction including a high water table, significant roof structure repairs, and the reconstruction of a substantial masonry chimney breast. These were addressed in a collaborative fashion by the design team and contractor, assisted by the clients’ understanding approach and trust in their professional advisors. The house is transformed on the inside but little altered externally. It remains a gem and as charming as it always was, but now the interiors are clean, warm, light and a joy to be in.

Thank you all for all your help with the project – it has worked out, if anything, better than what we hoped for. We’re enjoying all the time we can find to spend there

The Clients

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Innox Lodge

Bringing the garden into an historic home

Project
Information

Location: Somerset

Client: Private

Status: Completed 2012

Key Materials: Lead cladding, Bath stone, Ashlar, Brick, Steel

Located on the edge of the village with wide views across the rural landscape, this unlisted Victorian house was recently renovated by its owners. They wished to add a new garden room that would link the kitchen with the surrounding landscape and provide a place where the family can gather informally. The contemporary design of the new addition remains sympathetic to its setting through the use of traditional materials including bath stone ashlar and pre-formed metal sheets that match those of the original house. In advance of the construction of the new space a number of alterations to the house were made including the creation of a large opening through to the kitchen and a new staircase into converted basement rooms below.

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Sydney Buildings

Modern extension of a listed house

Project
Information

Location: Sydney Buildings, Bath

Client: Private

Status: Completed

Key Materials: Bath Stone, Patinated Zinc

Sydney Buildings is a desirable street on the southern slopes of central Bath. Our client purchased a run-down listed property previously used as student accommodation with the aspiration to return it back into a family home. After careful analysis of the historic value of various aspects of the building fabric, we prepared a scheme that stripped away the modern layers of inappropriate interventions, repaired original features and sensitively introduced new services to make the house fit for modern life. The highlight is the new contemporary double-height bay window in the basement that opens out into the garden providing views across the Kennet and Avon Canal to the city skyline beyond.

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Project Information.

Sydney Buildings is a desirable street on the southern slopes of central Bath. Our client purchased a run-down listed property previously used as student accommodation with the aspiration to return it back into a family home. After careful analysis of the historic value of various aspects of the building fabric, we prepared a scheme that stripped away the modern layers of inappropriate interventions, repaired original features and sensitively introduced new services to make the house fit for modern life. The highlight is the new contemporary double-height bay window in the basement that opens out into the garden providing views across the Kennet and Avon Canal to the city skyline beyond.