Healthy-Flowing Homes

We achieved our goals in this project, by redefining the internal spatial connections within the house, and bringing about a sense of natural order and procession.
The introduction of a glass porch to the main entrance creates a positive sense or having arrived, and also clearly redefines the flow of the house, making the entrance via the gardens subordinate. This solved the previous internal confusion which had been created in this house over 40 years ago by the construction of a kitchen extension over the then front entrance.

Additionally a new opening now leads you directly into the sitting room, and the former door opening to the kitchen was blocked off with a fixed glass window. A new wall between the kitchen and WC / cloakroom created another healthy separation. A new door to the courtyard lets in the beautiful west light to the dining area.

We opened up the south facing elevation to the garden and further rearranged the open-plan layout of the ground floor, to form two living rooms which connect to the beautiful south facing garden. The façade was opened up by reinstating the original internal window splays, dropping the cill heights and adding a window above the door to fill the original brick opening. The internal layout was rearranged because the open-plan remodel of the eighties resulted in an unusable north facing back room. By creating two spacious living rooms with dual aspect and the opening-up of the elevation both ample natural lighting and passive solar gain was achieved.

The result is a beautiful flow from one room to the next with comfortable, contrasting and peaceful spaces throughout the house.

Conservation

Our conservation approach strives to understand and stay true to the intent of traditional building methods and at the same time take advantage of contemporary technology. For example, had the constructors of historical buildings been able to avail of unrestricted glass pane dimensions, we believe they would have sought to maximise the glass surfaces without multiple mullions and transoms obscuring light and vision. Thus, promoting honesty our method avoids quaint, pastiche replication of the past and bring life into the present.

Sustainability – Natural Materials & Techniques

We believe by constructing with natural recyclable materials we eliminate the risks of a build-up of toxins in living spaces and also achieve a reduction of global waste. We also strongly believe that, for example, breathable wall systems of natural materials allow for healthier living environments.

We have rehabilitated the cottage’s stone work and brick quoins with respect for its original state using lime mortar and salvaged old bricks. This entailed removing the cement render on the exterior and on some of the interior walls and re-building and re-pointing with lime mortar. This results in a breathable wall technique allowing the walls to preform their original task of a natural moisture regulator. The wooden windows not only add to the perceived comfort of a room, but also contribute with a high insulation factor. They are oiled to avoid the use of toxins contained in varnishes. An original cast iron hopper was found in the garden hedge, prescribing the sizes for the downpipes and gutters. Long iron pins with half circle holders were hand fabricated and inserted under the line of bricks at eaves level. All cast iron pieces were painted an aquamarine blue to draw attention that they are not of plastic!

Publications

This project has been featured in a number of publications. A few are found on this site:

Munster Interiors Magazine – Modern Rustic

View cottage interior photos by Philip Lauterbach on www.plpix.com. The stylist for the photos was Penny Crawford Collins.