The site lies in a conservation area in the Northumberland market town of Hexham. The clients acquired the plot with an existing permission for a house, but that proposal did not meet their needs (a family member uses a wheelchair which was important to consider in the design), or their ambition for a sensitive, high quality piece of architecture.
The design respects the historic street pattern by re-establishing an edge to the road, providing a sensitive evolution to the conservation area. The double pitch roof form looks to the geometry and orientation of its neighbour, forming a further continuation of the streetscape, whilst also created a more elegant proportion. Recessing the front entrance for protection from the elements, the elevation is lightened further and also creates a glazed link at high level.
Materials were also influenced by the context; the design retains a memory of the old garden wall along the road, and the main body of the building then floats above with a clean ashlar finish of local stone, contrasting with the roughness of the old wall below. To the rear and flanks of the building there is a slate finish; still a natural material, but used creatively; the approach was developed through a positive dialogue with the local authority conservation and planning officers, who we were keen to engage in the design.
Details of the building seek to find a contemporary evolution to the historic context, with crisp ashlar stone complemented by carefully considered punched window openings - hiding the frames behind the stone reveals.
The finished project is strong but quiet, rigorously detailed, environmentally aware and historically sensitive.
The project was delivered on time and on budget, and despite being a sizable house which uses sophisticated environmental technologies and high quality materials, the building was still delivered for a modest budget.
Delivered in difficult planning circumstances, the project finds the perfect balance of how to design a contemporary, environmentally sensitive building which meets its brief, is considerate of the community around it, and which sits harmoniously in the historic context.
Material Used :
3. Solarfold – PPC aluminium Window units
4. Jeld-wen Cottage Horizontal door – white oak
5. The Rooflight Company Neo S13 fixed
6. Mira - Platinum Dual Rear Fed - High Pressure shower with digital wireless controller
7. Lusso Stone – Monaco stone resin solid surface freestanding bath 1700. Client to confirm if matt or gloss