We are currently working on this exciting project to remodel a detached house in Danbury, Essex. We are currently applying for planning consent with Chelmsford City Council to remodel and enlarge the house, to meet the needs of our clients. The existing house is a 20th century property, built with a thatched roof and an annex. The existing property does not currently meet the client’s needs. The layout of the property is very cellular, with main living spaces disconnected from each other. In particular, the kitchen provides the main entrance to the building, which is detached from the main entertaining space, which in turn is located down a corridor, containing the thoroughfare for the stairs.

The conclusion of the Feasibility Study was that retaining the existing Annex would not best fulfil the needs of the client’s brief, given the limitations of the Annex’s form and location. We concluded that demolishing the annex and constructing a new extension would offer an opportunity for a more efficient building footprint with modern construction that would be better located to respond to the existing site context.

The proposals include a new single-storey block perpendicular to the main house that creates a privacy barrier between the road and pool/garden beyond, as well as creating a larger driveway space for vehicles.

The main two storey element extends from the rear gable of the main house, with a new pitched roof to mirror the existing (yet with a lower ridge to remain subservient). As the 2-storey element is concentrated to the rear of the existing house, the mass is not seen from the road, and by removing the existing 2-storey annex, the elevation fronting the main road becomes lower and less imposing to the road, whilst retaining privacy for the swimming-pool and rear garden beyond. The proposal creates two distinct areas between the existing and the proposed, linked by a double-height glazed atrium that contains the central staircase. The existing area retains traditional residential spaces in the form of bedrooms and habitable rooms. The proposed area introduces open plan contemporary spaces such as a large living / kitchen /dining area and gym, while the first floor plan contains an additional bedroom and a master suite.

The existing building is painted white render with a thatched pitched roof. The proposals retain the existing rendered walls of the main house, but the client is keen to replace the roof with a safer and more robust alternative.

The proposals wish to compliment the existing material palette, as well as introducing elements of contrast to help distinguish new from old. The proposals have drawn on inspiration from other rural and agricultural precedents that are believed to be appropriate to the local area and sensitive to the existing dwelling house; for example:

– Metal roof cladding
– Clay tile roofing
– Rendered wall cladding (or similar)

We are hoping to begin construction in mid to late 2022.

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