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Oxford Architects explore the ‘before and after’ of architectural design

25 Sep '19

Forest House Before
Forest House After
Middle Aston before
Middle Aston Approaching completion
Bungalow, early stages of build
Bungalow Overhaul Completes

Architectural design demands creativity, and our Oxford architects have it in abundance. In this week’s blog we take a look at some of the before and after images from our projects. It takes imagination and vision to be able to look at a dilapidated shack, or a disused bungalow and turn it into the house of our client’s dreams. Here are some of our favourite transformations.


The Forest House


Near Painswick, our client’s plot featured striking woodland that they wanted to enjoy. However, the existing construction was an old timber structure which was unsuitable for habitation. Our architects were determined not to encroach on the forest; incorporating it into the design without having to tear trees down. At the same time, they had to provide enough living space for the family. The final design was ingenious – by planning the structure to have two parallel elements it mitigates the need for wide gables and high beams, therefore reducing the overall mass of the building. The house is also elevated on timber posts, lightly touching the forest floor, without extensive foundations. The finished design is sleek, elegant and beautiful, but through the use of timber and glazing, it sits comfortably within the natural habitat surrounding it.


New House, Middle Aston


On the site of the new build in Middle Aston, the previous structure was equally as uninspiring; home to a 1950s detached bungalow, which had remained vacant for many years. The property had fallen into major disrepair and was uninhabitable. It would have needed a huge amount of time and money to make it liveable once more. It was deemed more efficient to clear the site and start a new house from fresh. Once cleared, the site was a very respectable size of 2.2 acres. However, the plot is very visible from the road, so it was deemed necessary to blend it into the current streetscape. Our architects designed a stunning family home, with converted loft space, creating a comfortable seven-bedroom house. To allow the property to sit well within the current streetscape it was built from Cotswold stone, and the front of the building retained barn-like linear dimensions, so it is not obviously a ‘statement’ home.


Bungalow Overhaul, Wiltshire


While many of our projects do begin with a disused building on a plot of land, many do not. Our clients from Wiltshire came to us with their semi-detached bungalow, which, while still in good shape and easily habitable, they had grown out of. The young couple had moved into the property before having a family and now with two small boys, the property simply did not have the room required. Our architects solved this dilemma by extending the bungalow to create a beautiful two storey home. The top floor houses three of the bedrooms, one, a master ensuite with walk in wardrobe. Downstairs there is ample living accommodation; a family living room, formal living room, central kitchen, dining area, boot room and wet room, study, guest bedroom and playroom! From the front of the property the sheer scare of the extension is hidden, retaining much of the original dimensions. However, despite the change to the rear of the home, the extension sits well within the landscape. With beautiful sections of timber and large areas of glazing, the home reflects the natural surroundings.


Have a property that could do with a serious overhaul? Why not contact our Oxford Architects for some inspiration?