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Knibb overhauls and extends 1950s Hampshire semi

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Winchester-based Adam Knibb Architects has completed this £225,000 revamp and extension of a 1951 semi-detached farm worker’s cottage in Hampshire

The emerging practice was approached to design the ‘whole house refurbishment’ by neighbours of the firm’s earlier Bluebell Pool House (see AJ 14.12.12).

According to studio founder Adam Knibb, the practice had to take an ‘inventive view’ to try and double the home’s original 101m² area.

‘As the cottage was based in the countryside, [we] had to make use of a planning loophole [where] a small dwelling could only be extended by 25 per cent if below 120m²,’ he said.

‘Following this, if the existing house was then over 120m² we could apply for a much larger extension. So we submitted two applications – one a ground floor and then another for a first floor and side return to be added.’

The architect’s view

The ground-floor extension gives the opportunity for a large vista view to the garden and woodlands beyond. Framed with slender frame glass, the aperture gives panoramic views. At first-floor level we added a new master suite, which poked its head out around the existing building and benefited from dual aspect views, from woodlands to fields.

The exterior concept was for a distinct datum between the ground and first floor, with a solid monolithic masonry base, represented by render at the ground. The first-floor timber box can then appear to sit lightly on top. We wanted to mimic the trees behind, so we used cedar, which will turn silver over time, and oriented it vertically so it blends in with the background. The design does not want to be overbearing to the road so gives a soft modern approach from the front but then completely transforms the house.

Internally, a radical floating staircase allows natural light to be brought through from the front hallway into the open-plan rear space. Large slimline sliding doors open fully to blur the transition between internal and external space. A new Bulthaup kitchen sits as piece of sculpture in the new space, complemented by a single piece of artwork on the wall.

First floor plan

First floor plan -click to enlarge

Project data

Location Crawley, Hampshire, UK
Year 2015 completion
Budget with kitchen (Bulthaup) and lighting system (Lutron) construction cost was about £225,000. 
Architects Adam Knibb Architects
Main contractor Winchester Builders & Decorators
Timber cladding supplier English Woodlands Timber        

Photography: www.martingardner.com

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