This previously neglected Grade II listed Georgian semi-detached cottage on the end of an eclectic terrace in Lewes’ Southover High Street has been transformed to create a stunning long term home.
The house had been extensively extended in the early 20th Century creating a hotchpotch of additions to the rear, and a warren of small rooms internally. After lengthy but successful planning negotiations, mindful of the listed nature of the property, and considerations of the conservation area, we gained permission to demolish the rear of the property – to the rear wall of the original Georgian Cottage – and add a contemporary ‘pavilion’ extension at the rear. Developed with the original proportions of the existing cottage in mind the new addition is 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, but the new focus of the house becomes the extension. On the ground floor the open plan kitchen and dining room look out across the garden to a garden room beyond, and the 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 which 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 elements clearly distinguishable from the original – brick sizes and bonds differ on the old rear elevation with the joint between the two clearly visible. The new pavilion is a mix of clean white render and locally sourced sweet chestnut cladding. Within the glass link the external materials are exposed so new can be clearly distinguished from the old.
Successfully combining the heritage of the listed building with the ultra-sleek contemporary lines of the new build extension is key to the interior design of this project. Striking feature wall papers, bespoke wood veneer joinery with antique brass handles, and bold colours reflect the personality of the clients and their family in the cottage. Whilst the focus in the new build is on the architectural lines and materials which are at the forefront of the design. A minimal aesthetic was introduced alongside a clever lighting scheme to pick out key features of the design.
The rear garden, desgned to compliment the architectural design, was by esteemed garden designer Lucy Cotes of BG Design Studio.