Private house, Surrey, UK
Shepherds Well was a mid-twentieth century two level bungalow sitting off an un-metalled track in Surrey. To the west is the a Site of Specific Scientific Interest; to the east are open fields with a view of the local church in the distance.
The site also sits within a Conservation Area, and as far as the eye can see is encompassed by the Green Belt.
The bungalow was in a bad state of repair – the timbers were rotting and slumping, it was poorly insulated, the rooms were small and compromised, and so on.
The client came to us and asked how this building could be transformed into a liveable home that would allow them to have guests, stay warm, and enjoy the surroundings.
Our response was to remove the existing garage which allowed for views through the site from the public footpath, to the church spire in the distance. Then we added another level to the footprint and gently enlarged the conservatory to the rear.
To reduce the impact of the additional storey, we split the house into two volumes with gables facing the road, echoing some of the compositions of neighbouring properties.
Between the volumes is the central circulation space, with rooms to either side – at first floor the bedrooms open up into the pitched roofs. At the rear of the house, in the single storey element, is the family room – kitchen, dining, and so on. Overall the footprint of development on the site is reduced, but habitable area is increased.
Timber cladding wraps around the whole building – from the church, the new house will blend into the woodland behind the house. The use of timber also echoes the use of timber in traditional seventeenth century barns that can be found nearby. Red clay tiles are used to complement the neighbouring houses, and PVs help generate electricity to power the water heater.
While the proportions of the windows to the front elevation are composed to emulate the neighbouring houses, the windows to the east are as larger to take in the views; and a large rooflight brings light into the family room.
A ‘fabric-first’ approach was utilised, with heavily insulated walls, floor and roof which will ensure heating bills are kept to a minimum.
Photography by Alex Freeman Photography
Facts + Figures
Location: Surrey, United Kingdom
Construction cost: Undisclosed
Programme: Completed 2019