Grade II Listed Country House
Kent | UK
‘Old House’ is a Grade II listed country house of 16th-Century origin, located in the countryside of Kent. This noteworthy timber-framed ensemble has been added to and changed well into this Century. The result is an eclectic collection of spaces, quirky alterations and adaptations, typical of farmsteads and working homes in the countryside. Our ambition, together with interior designers Benson Studios and Christopher Woods, was to responsively design with the existing architecture and its history, defining strategic additions for a comfortable and characterful new home.
Ground Floor Plan
First Floor Plan
Central to our design approach was to strip the house back to its bare bones – going back in time – and then, from there, build it up again. The process of understanding the structure and its history was a challenge. With the keen eye and tenacity of our planning expert, Michael Doyle, we delved deep into the building’s fabric. Together we speculated as to how the house may have evolved – how parts came to be, how they were altered or taken away and how it was used and lived in through time.
While we maintained most of the layout, we shifted the location of the dining room to the kitchen. This brought the kitchen closer to the middle of the house. In doing so, we discovered the location of what once was a hearth. This became the natural position for the new stove. Other contributions we made included a new library/ study as well open plan master suite in what was once a farm out building that was dressed and integrated to the main house in the 1930’s.
There is an 18th Century barn attached to the side of the oldest portion of the house. It was a difficult space in that the ceiling heights were very low as it was once a hay loft. For conservation reasons, we were not able to take out the original joists to improve the height. After considering alternatives with Conservation, we chose to leave the room as an abandoned relic as it is. It works well as a small sitting area for watching films.