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A house for an equestrian

Conversions, Extensions, Retrofit

This project involved the transformation of a ruined farm cottage into a generously sized, modern energy-efficient home. 

The original 1 ½ storey cottage was in a ruinous state after being unoccupied for many years, the site was very overgrown and there were a number of redundant farm structures and cattle stalls in close proximity to the building. The cottage was also very small so a key challenge was securing planning permission for an extension which was twice the size of the existing building. 

A long stone byre had previously adjoined the cottage and evidence of this was still visible through the undergrowth. Such outbuildings, attached to the main dwelling, are a common feature of traditional farmsteads. The solution involved reinstating this as a ‘modern barn’ extension, at right angles to the existing cottage and connected to it by means of a flat roofed link containing ancillary spaces such as a utility, plant room and a boot room. The link roof also extends over a covered outside space facing onto the rear garden, providing a pleasant “sitooterie” in all weathers. 

The barn analogy is carried through in the vaulted ceiling over the open-plan living dining kitchen space which features 2 exposed oak trusses. The living space is glazed on both sides, with sliding doors providing a connection to both front and rear gardens and views through the house. This open plan space forms the heart of this family home, linking bedroom spaces at one end with a separate snug at the other. 

The extension features thermally modified timber cladding externally, in a subtle grey colour that complements the random rubble stonework of the original cottage. The simple dual pitched roof form of the extension, finished in natural slate, resonates with the traditional farm buildings and steadings of the local area. Heating is provided by an air source heat pump with underfloor heating. Energy use is minimised through high levels of insulation and airtightness together with triple glazed windows. 

The dilapidated and overgrown state of the original cottage made it difficult for the clients to imagine how their home would look upon completion of the project. The 3D computer model which was prepared by the architect proved invaluable in helping them visualise the end result. 

“We can’t thank Graeme enough for everything he has done to help with our new home. We love it!”

– Gary and Megan

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