Throughly Modern Abbey

JCA Team:
Chris Lawler
Project Design Team:
Johnston Cave Associates (Architects)

Tom Pettefer Contractors (Main contractor)

Project type:

Repair and refurbishment to important listed building

Project year: 1997

With a house dating from the 16th century and encompassing 2,000 square meters, you’d expect it might need a bit work to bring it up to 21st century standards. And so it proved with our clients important Grade II listed Abbey.

A listed building always needs careful handling which is why our client turned to Johnston Cave Associates.

As a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Chartered Practice and with extensive experience looking after a number of churches across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, we have considerable expertise in conservation. 

Our core skills are founded in the repair, alteration and adaption of historic buildings in sensitive locations to provide discreet, sophisticated, highly serviced buildings meeting all the needs of contemporary family life without sacrificing the charm, character and qualities of the historic house.

We needed to draw on all these skills for our clients’ country house as our survey revealed an ambitions repair and updating task which ranged from structural repairs to chimneys, roofs, cesspools and provision of new storm water drainage, to a new main staircase extension, new joinery, plasterwork, fittings and fittings as well as refurbishing the fire damaged billiard room wing.

In addition to the major repairs works and new services throughout, our proposals included the rationalising and modernising of the internal accommodation as well as some demolition and repairing of the extensive outbuildings.

With a building of this age, importance and scope of repairs, it is vital to have English Heritage and the local planners on-board.

The final result was a transformation of down-at-heel cold, damp and draughty building into lovely house fit for 21st century living - and as our happy client said ‘you can’t even see the joins’.

Praise indeed.