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Planning permission has been granted for the extensive transformation of a Victorian cottage situated in the Guildford urban area one mile from the city centre. This James Wells Architects scheme encompasses alterations and an extension to a detached Victorian villa.

Transforming A Victorian House For The 21st Century

Our client purchased the property with the ambition of creating a low-energy home. The design includes an air source heat pump, photovoltaic panels and battery storage as well as other renewable energy strategies including the specification of sustainable materials and construction methods. The design of this new home is rooted in respect for the historic Victorian aesthetic to incorporate better living and sleeping accommodations for this active young family.

Elevation - Planning permission granted for Guildford cottage transformation

Rear elevation of new Guildford home with contemporary materials

Planning Permission Success

The neighbouring property is Grade II listed, set within an established, large plot, screened by a mixture of fencing and vegetation from the application side. The approved scheme retains the Victorian house, refurbishes it extensively and builds a single-storey extension set back 1.5m from the shared boundary. Windows have been carefully positioned to avoid any overlooking and roof lights are proposed at roof level to avoid excess openings.

Overall this cottage refurbishment is fully compliant with national and local planning policies. The renovation will deliver a significant enhancement of the Guildford site to benefit the wider urban area and will deliver a high-quality family home for the applicants and future applicants.

Design Vision For Refurbishment And Extension

The James Wells Architects scheme is a series of interventions and extensions by removing earlier adaptations of poor architectural quality.

The design is of a scale respecting the existing cottage and its relationship to the neighbouring property and locality. The architectural strategy acknowledges the importance and character of the existing building and is set back to ensure subservience. The architectural language and appearance of the proposed flat roof and gable extensions have been designed to contrast the existing building as a means of providing clear legibility between the original and the new.

Existing floors
Existing ground floor and first-floor plans of Guildford home

The new gables, pitched and flat roofs and glazed entry canopy carry the echo of the original into the future. The elevations will utilize traditional materials with a slate roof and timber cladding. This mix of materials, whilst contemporary in nature, with complement the texture and colour tones of the more traditional built surroundings.

The proposed design reflects a continuation of the predominant form of the host property. The double-storey extension is formed with the repetition of a third gable which steps back, respecting the existing building line. The three gables intersect the main volume which overviews the front and back plot.

House Refurbishment Project Creating Stunning Guildford Home

The front door opens onto a generous and well-connected hallway with a cloakroom and WC. To the left and within the original core of the building remains a series of well-proportioned spaces offering privacy and flexibility away from the main family living area.

A change in level leads down to the new single-storey volume which accommodates a large open-plan living space facing the garden and offering views out over the rolling hills beyond. The stairway leads from the centre of the ground floor to a generous landing above.

Ground Floors - Planning permission granted for Guildford cottage transformation

Existing ground floor plan of Guildford home with new expanded ground floor shown in red

The first floor of the extended dwelling will accommodate four bedrooms, a family bathroom and two ensuite bathrooms. The double-aspect master benefits from a vaulted ceiling and offers both a Juliet balcony and an oriel window taking advantage of long-reaching views.

The single-storey extension remains fairly well hidden behind the reinstated garden wall and third gable. A contemporary appearance will contrast the existing dwelling with vertically laid timber cladding. New windows and bifold doors have deep reveals and are of a high-quality appearance in a dark painted metal finished.

First Floors

Existing first floor plan of Guildford home with new configuration and roofs show in red

New pitch roofs will match the pitch angle and slate tiled finish of the existing property to ensure continuity and minimize any impact on the adjacent listed building. Roof lights and solar panels will not be visible from street view.

The proposals to extend this property respect the existing historic materials and provide a juxtaposition to traditional methods of building. Contemporary materials such as timber cladding zinc rainwater goods and aluminium sliding doors and windows will differentiate the extension from the original dwelling.

James Wells comments, “Achieving good results with refurbishment projects is a challenge to knit high-quality, sensitive design which works seamlessly with the special character of the host dwelling.”

Find Out More

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