This competition winning scheme for Clare Castle Country Park has been submitted for stage 2 Heritage Lottery Funding. Our proposals include the repair and renovation of the railway Goods Shed, as well as interventions into the medieval landscape. The scheme requires Scheduled Ancient Monument as well as Listed Building permission.
Our project to provide a substantial extension to a semi-detached Arts and Crafts house in Hills Avenue was designed for and with a close friend and architect. The dynamics of the relationship allowed ideas to be tested and details to be refined in the context of an inspiring and challenging architectural discourse. Exacting building tolerances and precise detailing was unfamiliar territory for the contractor. The apparent simplicity of the finished work belies the efforts of the team involved with the construction.
“Although this extension is relatively modest in scale, it nevertheless illustrates a bold and exciting response to a difficult challenge. The result is a simple slate-clad side extension to the existing Victorian house that provides a dramatic double-storey height living space. This scheme demonstrates that a contemporary approach to extending a house can provide an inspiring and appropriate solution even on a prominent corner site.” Barry Shaw MBE, 2013.
This extension to a late Victorian town house in Royston, on a prominent junction on the approach to the town, replaced an existing pitched roof out-house. The proposal includes a studio / office space at raised ground floor level and a large double height living space at lower ground floor.
The scheme was conceived as a plastic manipulation of a traditional two-storey pitched roof box, dislodged from the host and distorted in response to the brief and site. The large north facing gable inflects towards the street to create a strong end to the building as it turns the corner. Additionally, the volume of the living space, at nearly 7.5m high, and the inflection to the gable wall helps provide an ideal acoustic environment for our music loving client – free from standing waves.
A glass and zinc strip above a new staircase separates the living space from the original house and helps articulate the various elements. Windows and roof lights are carefully considered to maximize natural light without compromising privacy. The horizontal ribbon window to the study was set at a height to allow views out to the middle distance, whilst preventing eye contact to those in the street below.
Short-listed for the Building Futures Design Awards 2013
“Thank you again for a fantastic job, in all respects. The building is exactly what we had hoped for and the careful design and its realisation was excellent!” Client testimonial.
Astor House is a simple late-Victorian villa that had been extended in the 1980s with a garage and office to the side and a garden room to the rear. It was bought by our clients as a house to grow old in, accommodating children and grandchildren on their regular visits. NRAP were asked to replace the existing garden room with a new space that could open up directly to the garden, and to refurbish the rest of the house. It was the clients’ desire to retain the character of the original rooms at the front of the house and upstairs, but to bring the kitchen (also refurbished in the 1980s) up to date.
NRAP developed an approach that placed a new garden wall along the boundary, behind which the kitchen could expand and a new garden room could sit. The garden wall continued around the south boundary to embrace a walled terrace. The brick detailing of the garden wall suggests that it could be part of the original house while the white render of the new garden room sets it apart as a new addition. This ‘new’ material extends out onto the terrace to form a seat and planter. With such a deep plan, natural light became a priority and where the new work approaches the old they are kept apart to allow light to enter between.
As part of the refurbishment of the existing house NRAP introduced two distinct new elements, a new stair and a book room. The stair is expressed as a piece of furniture, lined with panels of white-stained birch ply. It is used to make sense of the newly opened up ground floor, sitting as a fulcrum between the kitchen and the living room, keeping these two spaces apart. The treatment of the stair as a piece of joinery also helps to draw the ground and first floors together, the ply striking a datum at balustrade level around the walls forming the stairwell. A new internal ‘window’ was formed overlooking the stair to bring light into a previously dark part of the landing and to be enjoyed as a piece of architectural theatre.
“Architect Richard Owers gave this Twenties bakery in Cambridge a new lease of life, creating a modern home while acknowledging the building’s culinary past.” Grand Designs Magazine, May 2015.
In October 2010 Richard Owers spotted a ramshackle bakery and detached baker’s house in the south of Cambridge. The bakery building, more recently used as a launderette, was disused and boarded up. The two-up two-down free standing house had been privately rented and was in very poor condition. The two buildings were stranded behind a parade of shops within a sea of car parking at the end of a tar mac drive. As separate units the two existing buildings had little obvious appeal. The commercial property suffered from being hidden away beyond the shopping street, and the house was small and lacked privacy. As a place to live it had little going for it – or that was the general perception!
“Wherever you look in The Nook, it’s clear a great deal of thought has gone into every element of the design.” Cambridge Magazine September 2014.
The pavilion was built in 1934 to the designs of Morley Horder and is listed. It is timber-framed and boarded with a thatched roof, and before our additions it had never provided wet services. The extension contains changing rooms with lockers under a new thatched roof joined to the existing building by a flat-roofed steel framed and glass block-clad link containing showers and WCs. Steel external steps and a ramp ensure that the pavilion can be used in a number of different ways. The project was featured in Country Life.
This project entailed the renovation and conversion of an existing 1970′s Chapel in Thompson’s Lane, Cambridge to create a Learning Resource Centre for the Cambridge Education Group.
Our proposals included the addition of a bay window and canopy to create a more generous and contemporary foyer, and the addition of a mezzanine floor and roof extension to increase the internal floor area at first floor.
Reconfiguring this Victorian property has transformed the relationship between the house and its garden. A new roof is separated from the existing building by a continuous glazed slot that brings light deep into the kitchen. The new roof cantilevers beyond the existing building to provide a sheltered space adjacent to the back door. An oak clad door slides in front of the existing brick wall to sit neatly out of the way.
The site for the public toilet lies at a key junction along a new public footpath linking the heart of Gravesend to public parkland to the south. The brief was to provide a new toilet facility on the edge of a car park within the Lord Street / Parrock Street regeneration area. The mass concrete roof is separated from the tile-clad, concrete block walls by a continuous glazed clerestory; achieving a visual tension in the composition between architectural elements and allowing all internal spaces to be naturally lit. Structure is set away from the external wall to emphasise this separation. The design achieves a building that functions both as a landmark structure and as an efficiently planned toilet facility, housed within a sculptural form.
Kent Design Award 2007:
Winner of the Best Small Project in the Public Building Category
As Clare Hall College has grown, the social facilities for fellows and students have required enlarging. Rather than alter the existing building, we recommended providing a new social facility in the garden between the main building and a College house called Elmside. It contains a bar, meeting room, and TV room, rooms that are capable of being used as art exhibition spaces and music practice rooms. It is sited so that it engages with an existing pathway amongst the trees and offers framed views back to the other College buildings.
Publications: Architecture Today, March 2001