But your clients wanted to knock it down?
‘They commissioned me to extend their house in by converting an attached cattle shed. They saw the ruined building, which lay beyond the shed, as an eyesore. Although listed, the couple thought it would be taken down to make way for the new extension. Instead, my suggestion was for a building within a building.’
How did they react?
‘It took me a little while to convince them. But eventually they embraced the concept and it became the driving principle behind the entire scheme. The idea was to retain as much of the ruined building as possible. To insert new structures within its walls and make a clear contrast between the contemporary addition and the original elements. They really enjoyed being a part of the design process, especially when it came to planning the interiors.’
Were there any constraints?
‘As both the house and the ruin are Grade-II listed, it was necessary to gain Listed Building Consent for the alterations. And Scheduled Monument Consent for the ruin. An archaeologist came on site to supervise the build.’
The extension walls are reclaimed brick. Photo: Johan Dehlin
Tell us about the materials…
‘The parchment factory was built from local stone and red brick. Repairs to the walls were made in brick and stone, all reclaimed from the site, to match. The new- build parts are glass and Corten steel. Their lightweight appearance contrasts with the heavy masonry.’
How did this translate into the interiors?
‘The kitchen is contemporary, ensuring the new elements of the project are clear to see. The remaining structure of the cattle shed and factory serve as testament to the site’s history.’
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