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AR Design Studio completes reworking of Winchester Villa

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Winchester-based AR Studio has unveiled this retrofit of a 19th century villa in Winchester 


The house was one of a collection of grand family homes built close to Winchester College. 

Over the years the house had been altered and oddly shaped rooms created in order to maximise its occupancy. 

AR Design Studio were tasked with ‘restoring the home to its original splendour while adding a 21st century twist’, which included adding an open plan living space and a swimming pool. 

The scheme has been shortlisted in the 2016 AJ Retrofit Awards.

Architect’s view 

The Victorian era rooms were inconsiderate of the way in which we live today, so without wanting to disrupt the original layout too much, AR Design Studio proposed a large open plan living space that would allow the family to make the most of their time together. Adjacent to this space, the indoor swimming pool is a further addition that has become a firm favourite with friends and family for gatherings to suit all ages. The whole extension is covered by a familiar pitched roof that runs away from the rear of the house and elegantly reaches east towards the ancient boundary wall and the rising sun. Informed by the buildings traditional gables and clad in anthracite zinc to tie in with the building’s slate tiles, the new aspect is a contemporary nod towards the old building’s identity.

Absorbed in to the garden, the scheme now has a connection to its naturally sloping site. Making the most of this landscape, we included a theme of full width steps which flow from the garden through the house and into the private courtyard, reducing a visual mass and helping to zone the new spaces whilst responsibly dealing with the changes in level. A further expression of the stepped landscape are the two additional roofs above the living space which help to reduce the contrasting appearance and blur the boundary between the old and the new. The entire southern façade of the extension is glazed and then shaded by an overhanging canopy supported by a colonnade that expresses the form of the new extension and evokes a feeling of grandeur. 

Project data

Location Winchester, UK
Type of project Private Residential Extension and Refurbishment
Client Private
Architect AR Design Studio
Structural engineer Barton Engineers
Lighting consultant Pure Home Technology
Main contractor BlueFish Construction
Funding Private
Tender date November 2013
Start on site date August 2015
Completion date March 2016
Contract duration 16 Months
Gross internal floor area 545m²
Form of contract and/or procurement Traditional
Total cost Undisclosed

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