What was the client’s brief?
Our client purchased a rural property located south of Henley-on-Thames looking to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with a new contemporary family home. The new home needed to sit well in its rural surroundings, fitting in with the traditional local vernacular. The client was also interested in adopting sustainable technology to create an energy efficient building. A perfect project for the HollandGreen Team.
What did we do?
We demonstrated to the planners that the original bungalow – rather an ugly duckling that had been added to over the years – could be enlarged significantly using our deep knowledge of the Permitted Development Rules or replaced by a wonderful new building – 40% bigger than the original and taking a contemporary twist on the local traditional architecture. The planners were happy to embrace our contemporary vision and the new home now stands perfectly in balance with its country surrounds.
The design is a contemporary version of the local architecture through its pitched roof and simple form. The new build benefits from a refined palette of materials, including handmade Petersen bricks which reflect the traditional vernacular of the area. Glazed links throughout the building soften its footprint on the site and connect to the outside. Fulfilling the client’s brief, at the heart of the design is an open plan kitchen and dining space connecting to the living room with the feature fireplace. On the first floor the large master suit is orientated to the rear of the building with a private terrace overlooking the garden.
What challenges did we need to overcome?
The site is located within the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which restricted the size of the replacement building and there was strong resistance to introduce any element that deviated from the planning guidance. Working closely with a specialist planning consultant and collaboratively with the Council Planning Department we were able to overcome the initial resistance for such a modern interpretation of the Local Plan.
A second key challenge for us was the presence of bats habitat within the roof space of the existing house. As such we tailored the schedule of the demolition works to ensure that it fell outside of the bat’s hibernation season. In addition, the new house provides a replacement bat habitat within its roof space.
The project was beautifully constructed to an incredibly high finish by Stuartbarr CDR Ltd.
Sustainable technology is deployed throughout and includes Air Source Heatpump, Solar PVs and a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery System.
Read more about sustainability in house design and our article on Passivhaus.
We’ve helped transform many wonderful living spaces through renovations and extensions over the years.
Whether you’re looking for a contemporary glass addition, a complete makeover for a period Victorian or Edwardian property, internal remodelling options for houses built more recently, or a complete restoration of a derelict building, we’ll be able to help.
Using our 3D design process, you can explore a range of alterations before embarking on the more detailed phase of your renovation or extension.
With our wealth of experience working on listed and heritage properties across London and the South East, HollandGreen has successfully negotiated consents with Local Authority Conservation Officers and with Historic England for a wide range of renovation and extension planning requests.
We work with Specialist Heritage Consultants, and Archaeologists to provide detailed assessments of historic buildings, and have gained approval for ambitious, but sympathetic alterations to properties of historic interest, including those Grade ii* which fall within the top 3% of protected properties in the UK.
For many people the prospect of building their own home is the ultimate dream. At HollandGreen, we’re proud of the fact that we have helped a number of people achieve this dream.
If you are fortunate enough to have a plot of land that has the potential to be built on, or a house that you would like to knock down and start again with a blank piece of paper, we’d love to help.
We can advise on likely planning implications to help establish the feasibility of your project. Our exciting design journey will help you navigate through planning, choosing your builder, and delivering your dream new home.
Barn conversions offer the perfect opportunity to create a unique countryside home, packed with character. At HollandGreen, we’ve had extensive experience in converting existing agricultural buildings into residential dwellings, in accordance to the recent changes to ‘Class Q’ Permitted Development Rights.
From traditional listed stone walled buildings with slate roofing, to more modern metal clad farm sheds for the modern, industrial look, you can create luxurious country living perfect for you. What a great opportunity to create a characterful family home that’s sympathetic to its rural setting, and generally larger in volume and scale than a modern build.
Many properties fall within locations specified as a Conservation Area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and we have specific experience working with planning departments across London, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
Please do get in touch if you have any specific questions around what can be possible within a Conservation Area, even if you are just at the early stage of purchasing the property.
Luxury Basements & Pools.
If you’re battling to add space to your property, creating a basement storey can provide the perfect option to add significant living space, without having to move.
To find out whether adding a basement to your property will add value to your house, we recommend seeking advice from your local estate agents. Talk to us about Permitted Development Rights, as basement extensions are often possible, if a cellar space already exists.
Luxury Kitchens & Lofts.
The way people use their living space is changing. We find that for most of our clients, the kitchen is now the hub of the modern home, and we’re proud that we’ve become known for our inventive and aspirational kitchen extensions.
We’ve helped hundreds of home owners across London and the South East create open, bright and contemporary kitchen living spaces that combine cooking, dining and living within one social and inviting area.
We’re also known for our carefully considered, aesthetically pleasing loft extensions that both increase living space and add a wonderful new aspect to your home.
- Listed Properties
- New Builds
- Barn Conversions
- Conservation Areas
- Luxury Basements & Pools
- Luxury Kitchens & Lofts