Lowes Moor, Chapeltown
Original house and setting
The original house was a mid-nineteenth century farmhouse that had been poorly extended and remodelled in the 1950’s. Whilst the original house was of limited architectural merit, its location was impressive situated in open countryside with uninterrupted views to the south across fields through to the village of Chapeltown beyond.
Our client wanted to renovate and extend the original farmhouse to create a 5 bedroom family home. The living accommodation was to encourage family interaction – in their previous house our client had found that members of the family tended to end up isolated and in separate rooms. The family’s extensive and varied interests also needed to be accommodated.
The scheme developed following protracted discussion with the local authority’s planning department. Presentations demonstrated the extent of works allowable under permitted development rights, this helped define the area of works permissible without the need for planning permission. Then an alternative scheme of comparable area was tabled (the scheme as built) – this was accepted as an improvement by the planning authority and the proposals were approved under delegated powers.
Previously the house was approached by a driveway leading directly up to the south facing elevation (previously partially given over to a large double garage). The proposals redirected the approach and entrance to the house, creating an informal courtyard forecourt to the west of the house.
The rerouting of the approach freed the main front elevation of the house, allowing views across open fields to the south to be fully appreciated.
Much of the 1950’s additions were stripped away revealing the original farmhouse - this was used as a module for extension and garage block.
The main extension is spaced away from the original farmhouse creating a wide double height hall – all rooms open directly into this space. The hall acts as a separation between the main extension and the original farmhouse – allowing old and new to be ‘read’.
The plan centres on the double height hall, with all rooms open off this space. The heart of the ground floor accommodation is the main family room featuring kitchen, informal sitting and dining spaces (see ‘kitchen’ below), encouraging the family to come together. A collection of separate accommodation rooms allows the family to explore their varied interests. The formal lounge acts as an ‘escape room’ for the parents.
The new entrance plugs directly into central hall. The hall is flooded with natural light from a string of rooflights and full height glazing to both ends, giving it an ‘inside outside’ quality. The hall is treated as more than just a circulation space, it is a meeting place where the family come together – it contains the family’s library (easily accessible for everyone) and casual seating for a brew and a chat.
The bedroom accommodation is positioned at first floor. The master bedroom has separate dressing room and ensuite bathroom. The kid’s bedrooms are split-level with beddecks tucked into the roof space over the ensuite bathrooms. The bedrooms all have twin aspects allowing the impressive views around the house to be appreciated.
The design of the main family room evolved following a close working relationship with Diane Berry of Diane Berry Kitchens. The kitchen sits at the heart of the family room, straddled by an informal sitting space on one side and dining area to the other. Large ‘french’ doors open onto a large terrace beyond.
A row of large ‘french’ doors to the lounge and room open onto formal gardens to south of the house, thereby allowing the orientation and views to be fully appreciated. The family room opens onto a large terrace, with barbeque space and swim spa. An informal path leads from the terrace through to the stables. The garden to the north of the house is kept informal, visually linking through to the open moorland beyond.
A freestanding block to the west of the house helps define the informal entrance court. This block features a large, 4 car garage, recording studio and kids ‘rumble area’ within the roof space. This block is partially dug into the hillside to enable it to fall within permitted development rights for the property.
A sandschool and stables is provided to the east for our client’s horses, linked to the house by an informal path through neighbouring woodland.
The external treatment aimed to respect the original farmhouse but also be mindful of the property’s exposed location, as such materials were selected that could stand up to the weather with limited maintenance. Walls were finished in coursed stone (to match the original farmhouse) sourced from a local quarry. Cedar boarding was used at high level to the extension, being reminiscent of ‘yorkshire boarding’ found on barns locally. The roof is finished in slate with extensive leadwork detailing. Windows and external doors are Velfac high performance windows, featuring polyester coated aluminium externally and timber internally.
The house has underfloor heating throughout supplied from a Kensa ground source heating system (within the garden to the north). Photovoltaic panels and solar thermal panels contribute to the power and heating requirements of the house. Wherever possible natural lighting is encouraged, but is supplemented by a considered low energy lighting scheme.
Stanton Andrews Architects
44 York Street, Clitheroe, BB7 2DL
tel. 01200 444490
Palmer Conservation ltd
6 Hardy Close, Chain Cawl Way, Riversway, Preston, PR2 2XP
tel. 01772 766450