The Feel Good project is a modern extension of a house located on the edge of a nature reserve, which not only resulted in an outstanding design but also had a positive effect on the surrounding community.

The Brief

The property is set within an area of outstanding beauty. However, the owner felt he was unable to enjoy the views or access the garden easily due to its outdated design.

Working collaboratively, we designed a modern extension with floor to ceiling glazing, which would allow the family to pass effortlessly between the outdoor and indoor spaces. A sequence of terraces and roof gardens further enables the homeowners to enjoy different external spaces and zones at different times of day.

With all projects we are mindful that dwellings need to fit in fluidly with the properties surrounding them. We analysed the nature and buildings of the surrounding area and sourced local stone to match the original stone walls exposed around the site.

What We Did 

We designed contemporary additions of glass, canopies and an uninterrupted steel framework to create connectivity between the new, yet historically styled, walls. We made careful use of contrasting light and shade, texture and materials.

The rear of the property was completely transformed: originally a rather tall, overbearing, flat building, it is now an elevation of prominence and elegance which is pleasing on both horizontal and vertical axes.

We gathered design styles and ideas from all over the world, delivering a scheme that is nonetheless cohesive and at ease with its dramatic surroundings. The gradually diminishing width of form makes the property less dominating on the skyline, and the design creates a sense of the building flowing down into the garden and into the nature reserve below.

As a result, the house is now intrinsically connected to the outside through its roof terraces, balconies and stepped access.

Challenges

Access to the site was difficult because the property sits at nine metres below street level, surrounded by steep slopes and trees. We had to carefully plot and plan vehicular access along the winding, steep, private road of the estate; accurate schematic drawings were prepared to ensure cranes could deliver the large items such as steel and glass that were needed for construction.

Prior to work commencing we carried out test-runs to ensure that raw materials could be safely delivered. For certain fragile items we created a platform to bridge the half-metre gap between the bottom of the delivery truck boom and the ground level.

We agreed terms with Nottingham City Council for access to the project from across the park; we also involved the local community early on, engaging with neighbours on deliveries and crane movements to keep their inconvenience to a minimum. We also ensured regular maintenance of the road and removal of waste to further minimise disruption.

In addition, the COVID-19 outbreak meant we had to create additional health and safety protocols to ensure the project could continue and that the people working on it would feel safe.

Working Sustainably

As a south-facing property with a significant amount of glazing, the previous home would regularly overheat. The owners of the Feel Good project assumed they needed to invest in air conditioning; however, we were able to effectively reduce the average temperature of the house by using solar shading and strategically placed windows to create a natural stack ventilation system.

Furthermore, the creation of a sequence of terraces and roof gardens means the homeowners can now enjoy the external spaces and zones at different times of day.

Externally, the project also involved sculpting the lower part of the garden adjacent to the nature reserve. 19 houses are situated next to the nature reserve, but unfortunately the poor access meant that the community found it difficult to enjoy the nature on its doorstep. By resculpting the area next to the property we were able to enhance access to the nature reserve for the local community and the wider public. The owner of the property is also implementing a wildlife plan to further enhance this aspect of the local environment.

Feel Good All Round

Our clients were delighted with their re-modelled and extended home; it has made a significant difference to their lives and the way that they use the house. The surrounding community has also been very positively affected by the build, which has in turn improved their well-being.

See more of our Feel Good project