Rural Retreat

Manea Kella

: Timber Workshop (Structural carpenters), Price & Myers (Structural Engineer), West Bridgford Joinery (Joiner)

We were appointed to transform the existing run-down garage and stabling block to the rear of the site’s driveway. The brief asked for additional accommodation for the client’s extended family which would also serve as a container for a collection of books and art. The tranquil, rural surroundings make this an ideal retreat from urban life. In its basic shape and openings, the new building echoes the original structure. The existing roof has been wholly removed and a new timber frame made from Douglas fir spans the entire length of the new house. The result has been a set of interconnected spaces, some small, some double-height, which create a sense of volume and light in a compact plan.

Traditional construction techniques and inexpensive materials were used to ensure that the construction budget could be met. The design of the extension was determined by the new house’s relationship with the garden and views towards the mature trees beyond. Internally, the space hosts a light filled living and dining area that connects to a semi-open plan kitchen. The joinery throughout the internal spaces is made from locally sourced Douglas fir in order to complement the new roof structure, which features expressed rafters and sarking boards. The consistent use of wood throughout the interiors offers warmth, character and charm. The design achieved high sustainability ratings through the upgrading of airtightness levels and thermal performance - thermal bridging, solar gain, the use of heavily insulated wall and roof construction and high quality double glazing.