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Gruff

Gruff

London, United Kingdom

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Gruff - Brick Flint Pair

Gruff

Sited within the Chilterns, an area of outstanding natural beauty, Brick Flint Pair sees the adaptation and extension of a traditional country farmhouse alongside a new building which appears like a reflection of the original.

The existing farmhouse, a grade II listed cottage built in the 17th century, is restored with its historic features revealed, repaired and celebrated. The new, contemporary element appears as a new building to the north of the existing house, echoing elements of the host structure and drawing in references of the local vernacular.

A slice through the landscape is aligned to the new entrance, framing the spectacular views across the Chiltern Hills from the front door. This east-west axis connects a retained hay barn which serves as a guest house, the existing and new elements of the house and a sunken garage with spaces for four cars. The local building material combination of brick and flint have been referenced and readapted with gabion walls of flint and modern brick detailing providing a fresh twist on a traditional palette. The two-acre grounds are re-landscaped with grassed terraces and a paved patio exploiting both the morning and evening sun.

The sensitive rural demands of the site meant that the farmhouse had to be acknowledged and respected and the views of and from the site carefully considered. The visual impact of the house’s enlarged footprint was mitigated by burying the link from the existing farmhouse to the new contemporary portion which contains the main bedrooms. The joining section which contains the open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas is concealed within the site’s topography. This submerged element enables these new additions to appear not to connect to or impose upon the historic original structure but its easterly aspect brings spectacular views of the landscape right into the kitchen. A linear slot rooflight over the master bedroom suite means that both views of the clear night sky and panoramic views across The Chiltern hills can be taken in, maximising the site’s unique quality - its location.