Langton Green

The Vawdrey House

The full-scale transformation of a 1980’s red brick Neo-Georgian suburban property in Tunbridge Wells into a cool black brick and zinc ranch-style house which flows effortlessly from inside to out. With 100sqm of extension, a new zinc roof, central double-height atrium, timber cladding and timber sliding doors; the original property does still sit within the shell of this new form, but you have to look very hard to spot it. Now totalling 311sqm the property is unrecognisable and nestles subtly into its leafy plot in a way the surrounding red brick neighbours never could.

The family are creative and outdoorsy and wanted a home which could handle their busy lives, three sporty teenage boys and host after hours club nights for friends. The challenge was giving them the house of their dreams within a very ordinary shell. The client did not want to knock down and rebuild and wanted to be out of the property for as little time as possible. The budget also needed to work hard. The solution was to work within the form of the previous house to simplify the structure and so much of the building was retained and overclad. The urban architectural exterior and base finishes of concrete and brick internally are contrasted with an interior filled with texture, colour and life. A ‘broken plan’ layout and clever joinery allow the family to display an ever-changing collection of art and objects and to switch from ‘homework’ to ‘hosting’ at the slide of panel.