Prompted by his client's appreciation of salvage, architect Anton Ambrose designed a large extension that doubled the size of an original cottage.

grand designs house - discover this cottage extension with a difference - home extensions -  

Image: George Sharman

Anton Ambrose, director of Dust Architecture worked closely with the local planning inspector to minimise the impact of the extension on a cottage situated in South Downs National Park. He managed to double the size of the property whilst working with a constrained budget and salvaged materials.

What was the brief?

'The main ambition was to get as much space as I could within the restrictions of the South Downs National Park and to a very constrained budget. The original cottage had three bedrooms, but with five children in the family, the kids were sharing. You're only really allowed to extend a house by 45% of the existing footprint in a national park, but by working with the local authority's planner I've actually been able to double it.'

How did you manage this?

'When you approach from the road, you see a modest extension set slightly back; it's only as you go to the back you realise it wraps in an L-shape behind the cottage and is massive.'

grand designs house extension - discover this cottage extension with a difference - extensions -

Image: George Sharman

What made this different from any other extension job?

'John, the client is an antiques dealer who finds lots of unusual things through his work. The extension doesn't just house his collection of architectural salvage, it is a collection in itself.'

'The posts that support the deck are from a pavilion that John's company was refurbishing, the balustrades are galvanised railings from a retail park; old doors have been mounted on sliding rails between rooms; there's a Victorian bath on the balcony outside the main bedroom that John likes to sit in with a glass of wine in the evening.'

Does using so many upcycled elements create building-regulations issues?

'In order to be compliant, we put in enhanced fire protection throughout the house. I worked very closely with the building inspector, so they understood the project and used their knowledge and experience to help us come up with solutions.'

grand designs extension - discover this cottage extension with a difference - extensions -

Image: George Sharman

How did you minimise costs?

'John did alot of the work himself – though he'll admit that he probably took on too much on top of his day job. For the structure, John and I used an insulated timber-panel system, manufactured off-site and craned into place. We clad the interior in ply wood, which is cost effective and also avoids wet trades such as plasterers that might hold up the project. In the end it worked out at £1,200 per sqm and only took nine months.'


What do you think of this unique extension? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page. 



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