This Grade II listed, thatched cottage in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire is very pretty from the front. But the rear of the property lacked character and was compromised by small windows, an old single-storey extension and a very high brick wall on a neighbouring property boundary. Our clients had maintained Petra Cottage, but it was unsuited to contemporary lifestyles.
We worked closely with our client to understand how they wanted their home to work for them, and then designed a large, contemporary extension to replace the old one. The objectives were to expand and open up the ground floor of the cottage, connect it to the garden and completely change the flow and the sequence of spaces.
We also worked closely with Cherwell District Council, paying close attention to the historic fabric of the existing property and matching new materials to the old wherever possible.
Entering the hallway, with its original flagstones and inglenook fireplace, you see into the new light-filled extension and the garden beyond.
In contrast to the cosy low ceiling and beams in the hallway, the new single-storey extension has a vaulted ceiling with roof lights. At the punctuation point a short space with a glazed roof sits under the thatch, creating a beautiful, visual connection between the old and the new. You can also look back from inside the extension and see the thatch and the stone behind it.
The scale of the extension was carefully considered. The ridge and eaves heights are low to make sure the modern extension is clearly subservient to the cottage.
New landscaping helps to manage mass of the extension. It sits comfortably in its surroundings, while being a clearly modern addition.
This has had a dramatic effect on the way our clients live. It celebrates the beauty and character of the listed original while providing bright new spaces for the family to enjoy.