Avonview House is a grade II listed manor house dating from the 17th century. It was extended in the 18th century, in the early 19th century, in the mid 19th century and finally in the late 19th century. Each time the work was done in a style reflecting that period, creating a fascinating Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian hybrid.
The new owners, our clients David & Toci, wanted another extension, this time a new kitchen space proportional to the size of the house and improving the circulation that had become disjointed over the years.
We decided any addition had to be modern, reflecting its own period – but it had to do so without damaging or compromising what had gone before.
Key to this approach was identifying the historically significant elements of the current house and gardens and treating them with respect. We worked closely with Wiltshire Council's Conservation Officer to make sure we were all 'singing off the same hymm sheet' and ensuring a relatively smooth journey through the planning system.
The design that emerged was a folded roof clad in copper shingles over a band of vertical charred timber cladding (a timeless Japanese technique), sat on a Bath stone plinth.
It is a clear statement of contemporary confidence. No Victorian pastiches here.
The gardens contained a large walled garden, originally the house’s kitchen garden. Over the years it had developed an awkward relationship with the main house and part of the brief was to try and address this.
We decided to make a bold gesture and insert a new opening in the corner of the walled garden closest to the house. This new opening reflects the frameless glass corner of the new extension creating a balance between the two spaces.
The glazing is largely frameless and floor to ceiling further enhancing the connection with outside. The oak used above windows and around the door tie in with the oak detailing inside the kitchen. The asymmetric roofline of the extension echoes older rooflines that can be seen above and behind the new kitchen.
At the same time we re-invented the walled garden as a pleasure garden with a central circular lawn and introduced a new diagonol axis linking the extension to a terrace on the far side. Prairie style planting inhabits the the corners and a new apiary was installed to help with pollination.
The results prove that it’s not just the Georgians, Victorians and Edwardians who can design and build architectural features that intrigue the eye as well as providing welcoming living spaces.
“The glamor and excitement of New York in the middle of Wiltshire. That is how one of our friends has described the copper and glass addition to our 500 year old rural farmhouse. We couldn’t be happier. Our brief was for something special, something as far from pastiche as possible, but still practical as a family home, and that is certainly what we’ve achieved.
From our initial meeting Jonny has listened and taken the essence of our ideas and run with them. We’ve felt involved with the project and very much part of a team creating something unique. Jonny’s approach from design, through build to completion has been inclusive, open, transparent and importantly resulted in a space and a home that lifts the soul”
Location: Holt, Wiltshire
Completion date: Dec 2019
Contract Value: £250k
Architect & Project Manager: Jonny Marrion of Studio Hearth
Structural Engineer & Drainage: Build Collective Limited
Main Contractor: Craft Renovations Ltd
Copper Roofing: Perennial Roofing Contractors Ltd
Stonework: SK Conservation Ltd
Glazing: SGP Projects Ltd
Oak joinery: Oakwrights Bath Ltd
Photography: Adam Carter Photography
All photography © Adam Carter Photography