Two Wells

Paper House Project

Our clients were looking for a family home with a better relationship with its large garden, and a series of visually interconnected family spaces. When we were initially approached, they had already submitted a planning pre-application for a large new build house. We persuaded them that this would be unnecessarily wasteful, and instead proposed working with the existing building to address their needs, and adopting a fabric first approach to tackle its poor thermal performance.

We reconfigured the existing layout to create an open plan kitchen, living and dining arrangements, and created a secondary informal entrance alongside a new lobby, WC, boot room, utility and plant area. The main addition has been a first floor extension, providing three new double bedrooms, a second family bathroom and storage – achieved while retaining the existing masonry walls, thereby avoiding unnecessary new structure. The York stone envelope was repaired, cleaned and insulated, and openings were enlarged and replaced with slim profile windows and doors. The roof was stripped back, insulated and re-finished with slate, while timber cladding to the first floor extension, eaves and around openings provides a soft tonal contrast to the stone and slate. The impact is transformational: the owners estimate that their annual domestic fuel use has fallen by over 75%, while what was once a bland bungalow is now a stylish and contemporary country home. The clients are delighted with their refurbished home and proud that the retrofirst approach has yielded such impressive results.