Bridleway House

Guttfield Architecture

Bridleway House is a barn-like timber extension to a red brick cottage in rural West Berkshire.

A single-storey garage alongside a public bridleway is replaced by a two-storey wing that provides much-needed space and opens up views of the countryside. The design was carefully developed to respond to the rural and historic character of the rural Thameside village and the clients’ ambition to make an architectural contribution to the village they grew up in and to which they returned later in life. The design of the new wing opens up countryside views from the new first floor master suite, where the vaulted bedroom is lined with plywood and a full-width window frames the view, whilst sliding timber shutters provide privacy. At ground floor level a new kitchen and dining room are subtly divided by a steel and plywood staircase and open out onto a kitchen garden. The barn-like form was developed to reflect nearby farm buildings, yet with crisp, minimal detailing and materials. The existing brick wall along the bridleway was rebuilt, wrapping around the new two storey timber volume. Slats of Larch clad the walls and neatly envelop the roof, gutters and rainwater pipework. A series of sliding, hinged and fixed timber shutters continue the clean lines of the cladding and provide differing levels of privacy to different spaces. The new low-energy extension, including all interiors as well as additional insulation works within the existing cottage, were completed for under £350,000.