Designed by an architect in the 1960s with stunning views over the river Trym, this building was unsympathetically extended and ‘refurbished’ in the 1970s and after 35 years was in desperate need of updating and re-organising.
Our clients bought the house wanting to realise its design potential, have space for work and hobbies, and reconnect the building to the landscape.
Budget was an issue and so recycling and cost-effective, energy-saving design solutions were paramount. Built on a hill and on a narrow lane, parking was difficult for owners and visitors.
The 1970s conversion produced a warren of corridors and small awkward rooms.
The initial concept was to separate the original house from the 1970s extension with a glass tube with a garden-level conservatory extension. This was, unfortunately, not possible within the budget, so the conservatory was replaced with wide steps descending into the existing garden patio.
We relocated the staircase, creating an extension on the footprint of the original porch, which opened up the ground-floor space and created larger bedrooms and an ensuite on the first floor. A guest suite - or space for hobbies - was housed in the extension. The bay window construction was replaced with a lightweight steel and glass structure to allow more light into the building and to take advantage of the spectacular views. The walls, floor and roof have were insulated and under floor heating was boosted with a wood burning stove.
The key to the design was to re-plan the building's footprint to increase living space, and change the natural focus of the building to the gable-end by constructing a platform for off-street parking and access at ground-floor level.
A new slender steel-framed extension replaced the previous bulky bay window. We fit floor to ceiling glass to take advantage of the spectacular views over the river Trym.
The oval shape introduces a 1970s-retro feel to the kitchen hatch, hall landing and the light fitting concealing the TV projector.
Bespoke furniture is built into the architecture, providing ‘hidden’ storage space. The rusty-steel finished bookcases are constructed within purpose-built alcoves which do not take up space within the living area.
To enlarge the living space, we moved the stairs into a timber-framed extension built onto the foundations of the previous porch. The stairs lead into a small oval hallway, which appears larger than it is because it has no corners - allowing us to maximise the sizes of the bedrooms.
The contrast between the dark purple wood lining the first floor landing and the bedrooms it leads to makes the rooms appear even more bright and open.
The ceiling in the corridor to the kitchen has been lowered, making the adjacent rooms feel larger. When the kitchen and pantry sliding doors are open, the space becomes one large usable room.
All the surfaces of the studio are clad in a stylish OSB (orientated straw board) surface. Shadow gaps, OSB architraves and skirting details complete the subtle design effect, with 1960s copper light fittings adding a warm retro feel.
The bright orange kitchen walls work with the minimal grey slabs of the kitchen surfaces. Wet areas were yacht-varnished to create a seamless finish.
Waxed rusty steel was used to clad the bookshelves and the downstairs cloakroom, providing a cost-effective and individual finish which works well with polished oak worktops.
Insulated flooring-grade chipboard floors in the extension are painted with industrial floorpaint to create a seamless, solid floor.
To improve the flow and functionality of the building, we stripped out all windows, internal walls, ceilings and floors, resolved the building's defects, then insulated the building and fitted ecological underfloor heating, electrical and plumbing systems.
The extension housing the stairs is a timber frame - a cost effective and quick option - the bay window is a steel construction chosen for its slender sections and the porch extension is a traditional block wall construction chosen for its thermal mass.
The house was built on a hill, so to increase the amount of level-ground space, we excavated a patio at the front of the house, which catches the evening sun, and used soil and rock to build up the front parking space).
The Channells Hill project was featured in House & Garden Magazine in1966 has recently been featured in the Guardian 2013.
Goodchild Interiors was appointed after an extensive interview process. Our clients appreciated good design and wanted a house with a ‘wow’ factor - to be achieved within their budget. This allowed us to explore ideas before we developed the final design.