Country house in Surrey 2

Context

The property lies at the heart of the historic Georgian town of Farnham in the lees of the ancient castle and its associated parkland. No. 62 is an impressive and imposing Grade II* Listed Georgian town house at the centre of Castle Street.
Situated on the East side of the street, the symmetrical and ordered front facade and formal entrance front directly onto Castle Street and are clearly visible from the street. The building is detached but with an attached brick arch on the northern elevation which serves as a gated vehicular entrance to the neighbouring property. The building extends 19.2 metres into the plot.
The property comprises one of the historic areas most outstanding Georgian Town Houses set within a large walled garden. It is a classically symmetrical Town House arranged over three stories and is Grade II*. The property is believed to date back to about 1730 and is understood to have been commissioned on behalf of Bishop Stephen.

Design Concept

The proposal have evolved through a lengthy process of consultation with the Local Authority and interested parties and we believe that we have arrived at a design solution that both meets the needs of our client and respects the integrity of this fine Grade II* Listed Building. The broad principle is to extend the rear elevation into the garden with a single storey pavilion across the full length of the rear providing a new entertaining space that can house an open-plan family kitchen, living and breakfast room that opens up with large expanses of glazing to the secluded garden. We feel that the pavilion across the entire length of the property provides much cleaner lines to what is quite a messy random and in places ugly rear elevation of mixed ages and qualities of construction. The simple box like structure relates well to the monolithic elements of the rear elevation whilst simplifying the existing extensions and various roof structures. There are no changes to the upper floors.
The idea is to remove the kitchen to the new extension across the entire rear wall, necessitating removal of some existing features, including the poorly constructed glass lean-to and the bothy. The new back door on the southeast elevation and boot room is to take up half the current kitchen, with a new partition wall under an existing beam, so that a new door can be let into an existing sash window opening. This boot room also has direct access to the back stair down to the basement and directly off the drive, so makes for better fluidity and usability.
The remaining half of the kitchen, thus split, is to be a den or snug off the enlarged and open-plan family room that forms most of the back half of the house. This updates the house for current patterns of living whilst retaining all the previous arrangement of rooms that make for such a handsome set-piece of rooms facing onto Castle Street. The food preparation area and island units are built around the existing walls and in a new extension. The contemporary pavilion is largely an open-plan and free flowing space.
The main extension is flat-roofed, but with a large glass roof-light to bring light deep into the plan, but also sunlight, as the extension is largely north or east facing, so maximising sun is important. The northwest elevation is to be a solid wall in render with a full height glass strip at the connection between the new and the old. The benefits of the solid wall overcome the neighbours’ concerns over light pollution and provide more flexibility over the use of the internal space. The left hand corner (southeast) of the pavilion is to be cantilevered with a frameless fixed glass element on the corner. The roof has been broken up with a timber slatted screen that simply sits on the single ply roof. The whole extension has been reduced in projection from the rear elevation by over 1m to overcome the concerns of the Planning Officer.
The extension is to be a contemporary one that contrasts rather than mimics the existing Listed structures built over the last several hundred years in different phases. The house will thus have all the attributes of a fine period home, with the benefits of a modern lifestyle where the kitchen is the heart of the house, opening directly onto the garden making the overall space more amenable.

Materials

Our clients are committed to build something of high architectural merit and build quality which would complement the existing period property. The materials of the extension, where using traditional materials, will closely match the existing externally in terms of bricks, tiles, glass, joinery, gutters and brickbond. The new contemporary pavilion will have a glazing system of vertical panelled sliding doors, with a powder coated aluminium section both to doors and roof-lights. The main walls of the extensions will have a rendered finish and blockwork with exposed steel beams and columns as required to support the loads across the spans proposed. The roof of the new extension will be flat lead roofing, with raised timber slatted decking over.

Client

Private

Location

Farnham
Surrey
United Kingdom


Architects

Stedman Blower Architects
Stephen Donkin
Karolina Szałankiewicz


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