Cottage by Guy Hollaway Architects

Located in England, UK, this modern extension to a traditional single family house was designed in 2017 by Guy Hollaway Architects.

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Description by Guy Hollaway Architects

The Cottage is the culmination of many years work by Guy Hollaway Architects’ Principal Partner to realise his own family home. Inspired through a career in architecture, drawing upon past projects and a desire to experiment, this house transforms an 18th Century Cottage into a 21st Century family home. Set within the Kent countryside, The Cottage, which is not listed, is a story of two halves, a quintessential traditional front facade set in a beautiful cottage garden and a new uncompromising rear extension, which has more than doubled the size of the house. These two halves have created a series of contrasting spaces – from a traditional cosy living room with a restored inglenook fireplace to an open plan, light-filled, kitchen and dining space, which opens out onto a modern rear garden.

The key to this transformation was to challenge conventional living and to blur the boundaries between the old and new, where the two work together and create a whole that responds to the new modern living with the comfort of the old. These two sides have required many different design and construction skills in respecting the traditional construction methods and in creating the new.

Reconstructed internal brick walls with lime mortar and flush joint pointing sit alongside continuous shadow gaps that flow into polished concrete floors, floating staircases and integrated seating and worktops. A transparent wall of glass doors slides back to merge seamlessly into an outdoor concrete living room with a long cantilevered dining table and concrete inspired zig-zag chair. The interwoven steps weave their way to form informal seating and link to a concrete lap pool with a glass reinforced side. This simple palette of materials is honest and allows the house to flow, linking each space to a vista or view. The sedum flat roof extension links the main house to an annex clad in shot blasted larch, this wing doubles up as a gym and cinema room; its interior is completely clad in plywood, which hide walls of accessible storage cupboards, concealed pocket doors to a shared bathroom and pull down hidden beds, which transform the space into guest accommodation separate to the main house. A deep bore ground source heat pump fuels the underfloor heating set within all the floors and into heated walls for towels in the bathrooms.

Without the usual constraints of client, contractor, budget or programme this project has allowed for each specific item to be considered and developed to its most beautiful, practical and ultimately seemingly simple resolution. Allowing the design solutions to evolve through the building process this project became Guy’s personal three dimensional drawing board, enabling his ideas to evolve to cater for their changing needs and to create a family home for life. Like an autobiography, an architects own home should reveal their true beliefs – it will expose their thoughts and truths, as they live in fear of living with their own mistakes.

Photography courtesy of Guy Hollaway Architects

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- by Matt Watts