A much loved house becomes a family home again

JCA Team:
Chris Lawler
Project Design Team:
Johnston Cave Associates (Architects)
Fiona Lawrence (Landscape Designer)

Principal Contractor:
Holloway White Allom
Project type:
Extension and Refurbishment
Location:
Sussex
Project year: 2004

Following a long posting overseas our client realised that the home they loved and that their children had been born in, had not kept up with their needs and was no longer suitable.

They considered moving but the house always drew them back. They loved its location, its amenities and its memories, but it simply no longer suited their enhanced needs.

We were approached with the brief to somehow retain the spirit of the place, but to greatly expand and transform the house into something far more appropriate.

It needed more bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate the family. It needed formal and informal dining. A proper cinema. A serious wine storage area. And last but not least, garaging for the client’s collection of rare Ferrari’s - an equivalent collection that until now had only existed abroad.

With such an expansive brief, the danger was that whatever we built would simply swamp the existing structure and sweep away any recognition or memories of the old place.

If you look closely at the house now you can’t be certain of what we have done. You might guess that we had added and extended a bit here and there, but as a visitor, you would think that the house had always been this way, but was now fully restored into a glorious family home.

In reality we retained just three walls. We dug a large basement for the cinema and wine cellar. We added a new wing and extended the existing wings for the extra bedrooms and bathrooms as well as to provide for the formal and informal living areas. We solved the Ferrari collection garaging problem by converting and extended the array of tumbled down and redundant agricultural buildings. Finally to tie everything into the landscape, we remodelled the garden in conjunction with the Landscape Designer Fiona Lawrence.

Gratifyingly the family moved back in and announced that they had come home again.