Last year, we completed one of our schemes that we’re incredibly proud of at Alpha Cottage, on East Parade in Heworth. The project is entered into this year’s York Design Awards, and we will find out on the 27th June whether we have been successful. The main prizes are judged by a panel of architects, but there is also the People’s Choice Award which is open for the public to vote for. This is run by The Press, and you can vote on the website here: http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/features/designawards/
There is, however, only one photo on The Press’s website, so I wanted to put a brief blog post up with some more photos, together with a brief description of the project.
Alpha Cottage is an attractive Nineteenth Century property located in Heworth. A kitchen extension had been added along one side to the rear. Our clients wanted to replace this with a new contemporary extension comprising an open plan Kitchen, Dining and Family area. The property included an attractive portico above the rear exit door. Our clients wanted to enhance and celebrate the character of the existing building whilst also creating something new. The key aims were to create a new space that reflected the way they lived their lives, in a communal family space, and to better link the internal spaces with the garden.
The design process was very much a collaborative one, the homeowners having a very clear idea of the aesthetic they wanted to achieve. As such, the design intent was to create a simple, clean space with large amounts of natural light. We were also keen to give the existing building ‘elbow room’ and to form a break between it and the contemporary extension.
The design solution was to create a roughly square new space, using furniture to divide the space. An island unit forms a key part in this process, and also helps to lead the eye through the centre of the plan from the beautiful existing portico to the new glazed doors and garden beyond. Together with the large sliding glass doors, there are also high level ‘clerestory’ windows which add light but also help to lift the visual weight of the flat roof. In the centre of the ceiling is a large rooflight which brings focus back to the centre of the space and also brings more natural light into the deep plan extension. The interface between the old and the new is managed through a glazed slot in the roof which joins the two together. It also helps to bring even more natural light right into the heart of the space. The floor finish is polished concrete which ties the different areas of the plan together as well as contributing to the clean contemporary aesthetic. This is reflected further in the bespoke concrete worktop to the kitchen island.
Externally, the building is faced in matching brickwork salvaged from the previous kitchen extension, ensuring the extension has a dialogue with the original dwelling. This brickwork base is topped by a standing seam zinc roof which rises gently from all sides to the central rooflight. It was imperative to have an attractive roofscape as the roof is extremely visible from the upper floors of the house, and the zinc gives a fantastic quality that is both handmade and modern that is a joy to look at. This zinc is carried down to low level in the form of inset slots to house the downpipes, so the necessary workings of the house form an integral part of the architecture.
The resulting addition is respectful of the original house whilst bringing its own unique character to form a new architectural relationship.
There is also a physical display of all projects at Explore York (The Library). Please visit the website and vote for Alpha Cottage by the 7th June! It’s a project we are phenomenally proud of, and the client is overjoyed with. Also, fingers crossed for the main awards on the 27th June!