An abbey gets a new lease of life

JCA Team:
Johnston Cave Associates
Project Design Team:
Chris Lawler
Project year: 1995

Our client had plans to knock down and rebuild a significant part of their house in Wiltshire. 

Its medieval wing had been substantially added to in the 1950s, but despite this, it was listed Grade II which posed a more than slight problem.

With careful negotaitions, the local planning officer was won over, agreeing that we could remove the 1950s eyesore and replace it with the same volume.

We chose an 18th century style for the new building which was to contain a large kitchen, a children's room and the backstairs to the bedrooms. We also had to be sensitive about the height of the new building so it wouldn't dwarf the medieval wing.

We left this medieval wing to contain the low-ceilinged, ancient-beamed drawing room with a bedroom and bathroom above it.

The house also demanded a new hall, but as it nestled into the landscape it should have required digging out half the hill. Our neat solution was to build the hall half a level above the ground floor which also had the benefit of tying the layers of the house together into a seamless whole.

With a bit of clever planning and positioning, we created a round opening to allow a shaft of light into the hall from the top-lt upper passage.

It mean't an old house with a 1950s carbuncle was granted a glorious new lease of life.