This semi-detached house forms part of an attractive row of Victorian cottages which were originally identical. The cottages are of architectural merit both individually and as an attractive group. They were designed in the cottage orné style and are characterised by their steeply pitched roofs, decorative bargeboards, and prominent front and side facing gables. Although not listed, the property lies within a conservation area.
The original property had been extended in the mid 1980s when a single storey shallow pitched and rendered extension, containing a kitchen, cloakroom and hallway, was added at the rear and side. A detached double length garage had also been built at the side of the property. In 2013 the previous owner of the property applied for planning permission for another extension, but was unsuccessful.
The original house possesses a strong character and therefore a primary criterion throughout the design stage was that the proposal should respect and preserve the character, appearance and integrity of the existing form and detailing. It was considered vital that the massing of the proposed extension should not detract from the form of the original dwelling, and the detailing should be sympathetic to its unique character.
In order to preserve the form of the existing building the extension is single storey adjacent to the original house (at the connection), the upper floor being restricted to the rectangular wing which is positioned alongside the adjacent boundary. In this way the extension does not encroach at high level upon the side gable of the house which means that the existing decorative bargeboards, stonework and rear corner are unaffected.
The extension is therefore is two parts: a single storey flat roofed section to accommodate the kitchen and hall, and a two storey pitched roof extension housing the garage, bedrooms and ancillary accommodation. The form of the extension resonates with that of the house having a front facing gable of a matching pitch, with a projecting verge and decorative bargeboards reflecting the original design. Furthermore, by using locally sourced natural stone to the front facade with quoins, arched heads to openings, and the use of a natural slate roof covering, the design harmonises with the house and its neighbours within this attractive row of cottages.
The extension is now complete, and it is pleasing to see that the builder has built to a high standard and remained entirely faithful to the original design and detailing. The care taken by the architect and client as they carefully planned and designed this extension has paid off handsomely as the spacious and well lit kitchen, the relation ship of spaces, and the generous and interesting spaces at first floor level, are very much to the clients’ satisfaction and are exactly as envisaged. This extension clearly demonstrates the added value which can be brought to a project by employing an architect particularly when the client is receptive to imaginative ideas and is willing to engage collaboratively at the design stage.
Builder Vining Brothers Building Ltd, Stalbridge
Structural Engineer Brody Forbes
Building Control Body Aedis Ltd