Services:Architecture / Interior Design / Landscaping
Size:over 9,000 sqft
Date:Expected Completion - 2018
Cleeve Hill House, Gloucestershire
Our approach to Langley House, a significant property in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is the same as we take with all residential refurbishments. First we identify those parts of the house working well and which suite the family; next we identify those parts that do not and assess any requirements the family still desires. The rest is simply a matter of joining the dots.
Langley combines a modest 16th century farmhouse and an impressive 20th century Arts and Crafts expansion – with a less-successful 1970’s addition to the rear. Our first strategy is to remove and replace the 1970’s extension with a two-storey element containing the same amount of area but impacting less on the body of the house. This smaller extension, with a new pool and art room, ensures floods of light to the deepest parts of the house as well as connecting the entrance hall to the garden.
The second is to connect as many parts of the house as possible to the entrance hall to make the house feel smaller. By removing a bedroom directly overhead, a double-height space welcomes visitors and immediately connects almost every space in the house. Elsewhere the house has been re-roofed, re-insulated, all services renewed, and every space redesigned and addressed on its own requirements and merits.
Although still under construction the success of our approach may be found in this extract from the Conservation Officers comment in his submission for the planning permission:
“The current proposal …… offers substantial architectural enhancements both in its own design and in the revelation of previously-concealed historic fabric. The scheme exemplifies the positive contribution that sensitive contemporary design can make to heritage assets and is a worthy successor to the earlier phase of remodelling.”
The longevity of our friendship and working relationship is a testament to Ralph’s skills at listening, his unending patience and his lack of ego. Some architects are all about a style. While Ralph has strong beliefs and will make clear recommendations, each project is individually considered.
One of the greatest skills I have appreciated in Ralph is his ability to look at space, and the flow of people within that space, to ensure that buildings work for the people in them. This comes first as it should do. What the project looks like then follows, rather than the other way round. This comes from an ability to listen to his clients. In doing so Ralph and his team have added enormous value to the projects we have worked on together.