A tired 1970’s house located on a private road in the beautiful Ashridge Estate, within the Chilterns AONB. The current house is situated in a large garden, surrounded by mature trees and secluded from its neighbours. In an area where it is common to demolish and replace existing houses, our client wanted to retain, extend and re-clad their house with a contextual and environmental approach.
The intention was to transform the existing house to create a contemporary home for a new family, using local materials to create a meaningful connection to the area from what is currently an uninspiring building of standard materials, with no connection to place.
The proposal minimises the amount of new building fabric, retaining and re-profiling windows to create a more coherent and contextual appearance. Different proportions of openings, roof profiles and additions are consolidated to create a building that reads as a whole, while improving the interior conditions of the house to reduce overheating. Minor re-arrangements to the interior spaces brings the family room to a new extension, open on all sides with new connections to the garden and the rest of the house.
The house is entirely re-clad in low-carbon, local materials. In reference to the strong architectural tradition evident in the Chiltern Hills. The walls are clad in locally-made tiles, wrapping up to clad the roof to create a simplified single form. New and existing building fabric are clad over on the ground floor with flint gabions, a contemporary and cost-effective way of cladding the building with reference to traditional building methods of the area.