This previously neglected Grade II listed building – a Georgian semi-detached cottage – on the end of an eclectic terrace in an East Sussex market town has been updated to create a stunning long term home.
The house had been extensively extended in the early 20th Century creating a hotchpotch of boxes to the rear and a warren of small rooms. After lengthy negotiations with the local planning authority (East Sussex County Council), being mindful of it requiring Grade II listed building design, and considering the conservation area, we gained permission to bring the home up to date. This permission allowed us to demolish the rear of the property – to the rear wall of the original Georgian cottage – and add a contemporary ‘pavilion’ extension that worked with the original proportions of the existing cottage. The new building elements are a scaled-down modern re-imagining of the original cottage, offset from the original house and only connected to the existing fabric by a wraparound glass link structure.
Internally the well-proportioned rooms of the cottage remain as sitting rooms and guest bedrooms. However, the new focus of the house becomes the extension. An open plan kitchen and dining room look out across the garden on the ground floor to a new ‘garden room’ beyond. A new sitting room within the glass link offers views of the castle.
The first floor houses a generous master suite, accessed by a feature timber stair that bridges the void within the glass link to access the guest suites within the cottage through an existing uncovered window opening.
The three elements of the project are intentionally materially different. The cottage retains its original materials with new features distinguishable from the original – brick sizes and bonds differ on the old rear elevation, with the joint between the two visible. The new pavilion is a mix of clean white render and locally sourced sweet chestnut cladding. We have exposed the exterior materials within the glass link so new can be clearly distinguished from old.
Successfully combining the heritage of the grade II listed building design with the ultra-sleek contemporary lines of the new build extension is key to the interior design of this project. Striking feature wallpapers, bespoke wood veneer joinery with antique brass handles, and bold colours reflect the clients’ personality and their families in the cottage. The focus in the new build is on the architectural lines and materials at the forefront of the design. We introduced a minimal aesthetic alongside a clever lighting scheme to pick out key features of the design.
The rear garden, designed to complement the architectural design, was by esteemed garden designer Lucy Cotes of BG Design Studio.
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