Radical change for a late 19th century red brick farm house in Chiddingly, UK
Alan Cronshaw of ACRONYM was approached by the clients for this project with an open brief to create more living space for a growing family. The extension would be on their current home, a late 19th century red brick farm house, set on an idyllic six-acre site in East Sussex. As the existing farmhouse was a symmetrical composition, almost like a child's drawing of a house, the architect decided to extend to the side and rear using timber frame construction clad in locally sourced sweet chestnut, as a deliberate contrast that allows the old and new to be read.
Despite the radical nature of the project, planning permission was secured within the local authority's statutory eight week decision period. The timber cladding also echoed the materials of the detached garage that had been built in front of the house a few years earlier as well as allowing the clients' sustainability aspirations to be met. A small kitchen extension to the rear of the farmhouse was demolished and the bricks cleaned, recycled and used to construct the plinth of the new extension.
Internally two downstairs rooms were knocked through and flow into the new extension, creating a large living/dining/kitchen space that almost doubles the area of the ground floor. The removed corner of the house above is supported by a single offset steel column set into a granite ring within the new timber floor. Four sets of sliding folding glazed doors and one set of French doors connect the house to the gardens and six new roof lights connect the extension to the sky.
The architect has since been commissioned to extend the property further, into the roof space of the main house and by the construction of two outbuildings to the rear of the house. These are again contemporary in design being clad in sweet chestnut and frame a more formal garden to the north as a contrast to the wilder outdoor spaces to the east.