We are thrilled with the result from today’s air-tightness test for the Vintner’s conversion. We got a reading of 2.6 m3/m2h @ 50 Pa which we’re extremely proud of.
It is a tall order to avoid air leakages at all interfaces and junctions when working with an existing building, but we have been obsessing about these details since the inception of the project. The Vintner’s adopts a combination of a new airtight roof membrane with 350mm of wood fibre insulation behind, double glazed new aluminium windows and doors, air tightness tapes around all windows and penetrations, and using an MVHR (mechanical ventilation and heat recovery) system.
To many the test result means very little, focus is often on material finishes and spatial qualities, which we also obsess about – but in a world where we need to minimise our energy consumption and reduce carbon footprints, this is the measurable result of what can be achieved when working with an existing building, which is also listed Grade II.
The test result means that we will now know that the MVHR system can operate efficiently, recycling the heat of the building whilst providing excellent indoor air quality, and equally important, we’ve minimised heat losses through air leakages which will ensure a very comfortable home with next to no draughts.
We have had a very exciting and busy start to the new year with three projects due to start on site in the next few months, and with lots of new enquiries we’re looking forward to a promising year ahead.
Meanwhile, our project to convert the listed building at the Vintner’s is progressing fast and behind the scaffold a new house is beginning to take shape. All of the structural openings have been formed ready for the windows to arrive in a few weeks, and the stone work has been carefully repaired and re-pointed and is looking great. We can’t wait to see the house shed it’s scaffold cloak.
Inside the rooms are mostly formed, 100 years of wear has been sanded back off the old timber floors ready to receive a new coat of dark natural oil, the MVHR ducting has arrived on site (straight from the factory in Sweden which happens to be where Klas did his first work experience as a young teenager), and the dramatic double height spaces are starting to reveal themselves. Only a few more weeks to go now until our largest conversion project to date will be ready to be occupied.
We’re excited to have obtained planning approval for a small side and garden extension to a terraced house ‘between the Commons’. It’s great to be back in London and we’re looking forward to be working with Pask Construction again.
We love these small urban projects since it’s all about space planning to maximise the functional use of a small plot, whilst finding ways to bring light in and creating great, compact, social spaces.
Very exciting to see works progress on the conversion of the old wine warehouse. The scaffold is up and we’ve been able to get a taste for the stunning view from the top floor over town.
Openings have been cut in the concrete floor, giving us an indication of the light that will filter into the basement once phase 2 of the project get under way; we love the proportions of the new front door; and the large double height opening to the rear elevation is also starting to take shape.
The official RIBA site sign is up, the last bits of demolition have been completed, and we are ready to hand over our beautiful warehouse to the builders.
We really can’t wait to see phase one of our “The Vaults & Vintner’s Conversion” take shape. The project won planning permission in 2016 for a contemporary live/work conversion of two existing listed buildings as well as new studio workshop in the courtyard garden off Silver Street in Bradford on Avon.
The project encompasses all the values and ideas we hold close to our heart when working with historic buildings and building on this narrative when creating a contemporary intervention within. This project is for Klas & his family who will live at the Vintner’s once completed, and phase one will see the conversion of the old wine warehouse into a four storey home.
We’re excited to be in the safe hands of Hart Construction and we hope this project will be the start of many successful projects together in the South-West.
We’re thrilled to have won planning permission for this cool little project in the middle of the Bradford on Avon Conservation Area. This is the smallest project we’ve been commissioned to do, but it’s has been such a delight to work on. The project is for an artist couple seeking to create a small gallery and work space for resident artists combined with modest living accommodation for themselves. This small oasis in the centre of town is an exercise in squeezing things in.
The existing house/shop has a small external courtyard, measuring a mere 10m2, and surrounded by two storey tall walls (all of them listed). Our little intervention literally lifts the external spaces up towards the sky by fully enclosing the courtyard to create a studio/workspace at ground level, and with a roof garden at first floor directly accessed off the kitchen.
Not only will the new roof garden extend the compact kitchen for a large part of the year, it will also place the external space where it’s most useful. The studio residency created below will form part of an exciting new arts venture – Obsidian Coast – “A space for unhurried artistic and curatorial research outside the city proper, envisioned as an otherworldly destination opening unforeseeable horizons.”
The summer is slowly fading, but what better way to start afresh looking forward to a busy autumn ahead than with the good news that we’ve won planning approval for an extension that is all about the views over Bradford on Avon.
The existing property is a slightly out of place 60s detached house in the middle of the Conservation Area in town and our proposals aim to remove the poorly considered additions to the original house and replace these with three separate contemporary extensions that make the most of the topography of the site as well as the incredible views over town.
The planning approvals keep coming at the moment and we’re very happy to have seen this through for the re-modelling of an existing bungalow in Trowbridge. It really is a house full of extensions where the original modest bungalow has been added to throughout the years to such an extent that the centre of the house is completely land-locked, and with internal windows.
Our designs appear to start again, but we are simply removing the existing conservatory and then re-using the walls of the existing extensions to rest a new full width pitched roof on. Together with some internal re-modelling we’re able to completely re-think the layout without too much internal surgery to create a clear layout, with good light and ventilation to all bedrooms, that leads into a generous open plan family space opening up to the garden. Whilst adding a roof, we’ve also added an overhang to the south facing elevation, which overall means we’ll be dramatically reducing the overheating that the existing house suffers from.
We’re really proud of this project and looking forward to starting on site in the autumn.
It has been a good week this week – another planning application approved! It is also great to have received such flattering support by the local neighbours for our proposals.
“The scheme to build a state-of-the art house with so many amazing environmentally positive features is both imaginative and impressive.
We hear so much these days about environmental issues and to see such an outstanding example of 21st century eco-friendly building in a tiny traditional village like Whatley is both inspiring and admirable. A view shared by all the fellow residents of the village we have spoken to.”
“We are very impressed by the plans for the new house and the artist’s studio. This is a thoughtful and conscientious proposal which incorporates the best of modern architecture and eco friendly aspects. We love the fact that it is a passive house which sustains itself without drawing on external resources. It is exciting and admirable; a dwelling and studio which Whatley can take pride in. The juxtaposition of the beautiful old houses in Upper Whatley and the radical new Clear View will be stunning. We support this application without reservation.”
Find out more about this project here
We have recently obtained planning approval for a new extension to an existing semi-detached house in Bradford-on-Avon. The existing house is yet again part of a typology of 60’s/70’s houses that exist up and down the country and one which we’ve enjoyed exploring. The typology is efficient in its layout and provides for good family space, but it is all too often disappointing in its architectural ambition providing social spaces that are un-fit for contemporary family life, with poor connections to the garden, and poor levels of energy efficiency.
These types of properties typically fall into the category of permitted development rights and our proposals sought to combine these with the already existing parameters in the neighbourhood where more than 50% of the area have added two storey side extensions. This provided a great starting point for considering volumetric constraints.
We used these constraints to model a side and rear extension that remains subservient to the original house, whilst reading as a contemporary new addition. The pitched roof of the extension is asymmetrical to allow us to tuck a study into the apex of the roof whilst providing a generous, part double height, kitchen/dining to the ground floor opening up to the garden. To the first floor 2 new bedrooms will be added with the connection corridor overlooking the kitchen below creating a sense of connectivity between the floors.
We will be using a combination of brick and timber to emulate the colours of the existing re-constituted stone but allowing the new extension to have its own identity. All existing windows will be replaced and new loft insulation added, which, together with a deep terrace providing solar shading to the ground floor, will significantly improve the energy performance of the whole house.
We are very proud to have won this planning approval despite receiving a lot of objections from neighbours. In fact, our proposals were highly commended for its modern design by Wiltshire District Council whom we worked with closely to fine-tune the proposals to ensure they were within acceptable massing constraints.