Home Extension of the Year

Home Extension of the Year
The Parchment Works by Will Gamble Architects

The existing Northamptonshire property consisted of a 1,800 sq ft residential Grade II listed double fronted Victorian house. Connected to the house was a disused cattle shed, and beyond that a ruin, which was a former parchment factory and scheduled monument.  

The client’s initial brief was to convert the cattle shed and demolish the ruin to make way for a new extension. From the beginning of the design process it was clear that the client viewed the ruin as a constraint as opposed to a positive asset that could be celebrated through a sensitive but well conceived intervention.

Instead of demolishing the ruin, Will Gamble Architects proposed ‘a building within a building’, where two lightweight volumes could be delicately inserted within the masonry walls in order to preserve and celebrate it.

A palette of honest materials were chosen both internally and externally which references the site’s history and the surrounding rural context. Externally, corten steel, oak, and reclaimed brick were used. The extension was built from upcycled materials predominantly found on site which was both cost effective and sustainable, whilst allowing the proposal to sensitively blend into its surroundings.

Internally the structural beams of the existing cattle shed were exposed, as well as the steelwork to the new parts, the stone walls were repointed and washed in lime to create a mottled effect, and a concrete plinth was cast along the base to create a monolithic skirting."

Judges’ comments

"The Parchment Works is astonishingly beautiful, with an ambitious insertion into an existing partly decaying structure to create varied spaces that all exploited the mix of traditional and contemporary materials with fantastic play of light.”

“A clever and sensitive treatment to an historic structure while still meeting the needs of the client. A perfect melding of ancient and modern.”

“The most amazing extension, they considered everything and then executed the build exquisitely, every view, every material adds to the story of the home.”

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