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The design aims to develop the existing dwelling into a building that has a strong relationship to the woodland context and one that responds to the natural surroundings. The proposed design is respectful of the existing cottage, and takes care to articulate sensitively the junctions between the old and new construction.
The proposed development aims to address the factors outlined in the previous section and also sets out an agenda to upgrade the ecological credentials of the building.
The proposed improvements can be broken down into four sections; restoration of existing cottage, alteration work to the north wing, the creation of a new entrance extension and the upgrading of existing energy services/ environmental systems.
5.1 RESTORATION OF THE COTTAGE
The existing layout of the gamekeepers cottage is retained, and restoration work to the internal fabric is currently underway. Organisationally on the ground floor the two main reception rooms will remain as existing, and on the first floor the two rooms either side of the chimney breast will revert back to a traditional two- bedroom layout.
5.2 ALTERATION OF THE NORTH WING
Internally the layout of the north wing is to be reorganised, and the new organisational strategy centres on the creation of a double height circulation space to the east of the property. This replaces the existing timber-clad bedrooms, and will provide a gallery at upper level and a circulation spine at lower level. This will be an elegant lightweight timber and glass construction, designed purposefully to complement the more solid fabric of the existing north wing.
This space will fulfil a number of functions, and is at the heart of the improvement strategy. As a key organisational mechanism it will provide direct access to the main living spaces at ground floor, and bedrooms on the first floor. By providing a new primary circulation route from north to south, it allows the traditional layout of the existing cottage to be maintained.
Aesthetically the appearance is designed to enhance the woodland context, and the areas of glazing externally will reflect the image of the woodland. Internally the glazing will generate a feeling of openness, and creates a direct relationship between interior and exterior.
It also acts as a critical environmental device permitting natural daylight to penetrate deep into the heart of the plan. The sliding folding insulated timber panels at the upper level can be closed when required, which enables solar gains to be controlled. At the ground floor the combination of ventilation panels and sliding doors allows a pathway for natural cross ventilation to take place across the main space of the ground floor.
On the ground floor a larger scale sunken living/dining area adjacent to a new double height circulation spine is created. By sinking the living room down the existing ridge height of the north wing is maintained and a more comfortable proportion to the internal space is created. This will make the ground floor spaces much more inhabitable. The living space is deliberately kept open plan, with direct access onto to the double height circulation spine. This not only allows natural daylight to illuminate the room, but also enables natural cross ventilation.
The kitchen is relocated to the east of the property, in order to provide direct access to the exterior. The internal space where the kitchen previously was located is changed to a utility/store room with a staircase inserted. This provides direct access to the upper levels from the original cottage end of the dwelling.
On the upper level the internal walls of the north wing will be removed and the spaces divided into two bedrooms, both of which will be accessed from the circulation spine gallery. One of these rooms will have an en-suite bathroom. A new family bathroom is proposed above the kitchen.
In order to facilitate the reorganisation described, some modifications to the exiting external fabric are required. The pitched lean-to accommodation, and flat roofed upper level adjacent to the existing kitchen is to be removed and replaced with a new enclosing wall. The new wall will be set back from the existing cottage, in order to articulate the junction between the new and old construction. At roof level the existing pitched roof of the original two-storey cottage is retained over the en-suite bathroom and hallway, and a parapet flat roof is used to distinguish the new upper level accommodation from the existing fabric.
On the west elevation, the openings to the new master bedrooms are to be reconfigured to provide larger opening and access to a new balcony.
5.3 NEW ENTRANCE EXTENSION
A new entrance and vertical circulation is proposed on the north side of the existing building. On the ground floor this extension will contain an entrance lobby, cloaks, WC and stairs to the upper level. On the first floor a bedroom and bathroom is proposed, along with access onto the new gallery. On the roof level a terrace and study cell are provided. This new accommodation is orientated to maximise the woodland views from the bedroom and roof terrace. This new extension will have a rendered exterior, which will be coloured white to match the existing building.