vertical oak cladded formation expands 17th-century renovated cottage in the UK

vertical oak cladded formation expands 17th-century renovated cottage in the UK

Mole Architects sustainably restores & extends an old cottage

 

Cambridge-based firm Mole Architects takes over the renovation and extension of a 17th-century cottage, ‘Friars’, that stood neglected for decades in the Saxon Ring village of Holywell, UK. The poorly maintained residence met various functions during its 350-year life, with evidence of its use as a kennel through the later part of the 20th century, and as a hostelry during the Second World War, serving American servicemen based nearby.

 

The practice, led by architect Ian Bramwell, follows a sustainable plan to restore the historic structure made of solid stone and timber walls, inappropriately covered in pink concrete render causing massive amounts of dampness and damage. A new expansion replaces two 20th-century lean-to and side extensions blurring the lines between old and new. The composition forms a large volume sitting on a brickwork plinth wrapped in vertical oak cladding and pierced by glazed openings.

vertical oak cladded formation expands 17th-century renovated cottage in the UK
all images © David Butler

 

 

restoration retains the historic character of the house

 

The restoration and extension plan by Mole Architects strips away the 20th-century dated and inappropriate modifications to reveal the original cottage structure. The layout provides a fully functioning living zone with a kitchen, dining room, living room, and master bedroom suite designed to sit adjacent, negotiating a level change, and offset to create a south-facing sheltered terrace overlooking the water meadow. Materially the extension is linked to the oak-framed cottage through the vertical oak cladding and a wonky brick chimney.

 

The project repairs the historic fabric of the original framework and replaces several features. Most of the wattle and daub walls needed replacing, while the improved program allows the flexibility of the timber construction and the installation of natural wood-fiber insulation. New green oak replaces the rotten timbers and traditional joinery methods are used in the process. The renovation exceeds current building regulations and thermal performance requirements presenting a breathable wall construction. To avoid erasing the character of the old building, the structure retains the saddle roof, the large inglenook fireplace, and the wonky walls and chimney, prolonging the house’s 350-year life.

vertical oak cladded formation expands 17th-century renovated cottage in the UK

 

 

energy efficient and industrial vernacular internal design

 

Double-glazed bronze casement windows housed in oak frames rearrange in the place of the decayed cases, while slim-line aluminum double glazing is positioned for the windows of the extended formation. In the first-floor bedroom, the glazed screen disappears back into a pocket in the wall, providing uninterrupted views across the meadow. An Air Source Heat Pump provides heating to underfloor heating across the ground floor and the first floor of the extension. Heating is supplemented by two wood-burning stoves providing heat into the main living spaces. The total electricity usage is a testament to the attention taken during the design and construction phases and meets ‘Passivhaus’ criteria.

 

Aiming the enhance the quality of the spaces and reveal the architectural origins of the historical cottage plan, The design team seamlessly blends old and new in a modernist simple open-plan layout. The internal design of the cottage stands more recursive drawing on the agricultural and industrial vernacular character. The residence enjoys the meadow views and sloping sight through most of the areas, while the renovation ensures energy efficiency using heat sinks from south-facing windows and air source heating.

vertical oak cladded formation expands 17th-century renovated cottage in the UK

vertical oak cladded formation expands 17th-century renovated cottage in the UK

mole-architects-renovation-extension-cottage-friars-designboom-1800-2

vertical oak cladded formation expands 17th-century renovated cottage in the UK
vertical oak cladded formation expands 17th-century renovated cottage in the UK

mole-architects-renovation-extension-cottage-friars-designboom-1800-3

 

project info:

 

name: Friars
designer: Mole Architects Ltd | @molearchitects

lead designer: Ian Bramwell

builder: FA Valiant & Sons

location: Holywell, Cambridgeshire, UK

photography: David Butler | @dnbutlr

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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