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"In contrast to other architects, we found Irene was very positive and generated a number of interesting ideas.  We were looking for a design that would contrast with the rest of the house and ArchitectureLIVE achieved this using clever angles that gave us new views of our garden."

Steve, Rake


Workers Cottage 

Contemporary Kitchen Extension, South Downs National Park


The brief, to extend the ground floor to improve the layout and functionality of the living accommodation.

Located on the outskirts of Rake, Hampshire, and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this semi-detached cottage is believed to have been constructed in the mid-19th century as a worker’s home. The cottage and its neighbouring properties are part of a small rural linear development with a south westerly aspect, sitting at the foot of a steeply sloping, north westerly ridge that affords far reaching views across the SDNP. The surrounding topography, typical for the area, is a good example of a sheltered, moderate climate with a rich mix of plant and wildlife. 

The existing period cottage features are typical of its time, with fair-face brickwork, tile hanging and small leaded windows affording limited views of the setting. The property’s steeply sloping hillside garden is accessed via a south-westerly courtyard garden on the ground floor and a roof terrace on the first floor, with views increasing with progressing height.

Having been extended in the past to connect an outbuilding, add first floor accommodation and a new porch largely in keeping in style, this latest extension addresses the occupants’ desire for a contemporary mode of living in harmony with its surroundings. 

The existing living accommodation, whilst orientated around the courtyard garden, had limited views and access to it. The small leaded windows and low ceiling heights did not allow extensive views and the hillside garden was largely out of sight. 

The new extension therefore balances the space requirements between the cottage and the garden in order to form a new open-plan kitchen & dining layout that fully addresses the garden and views whilst remaining invisible from the front of the property.

Conceived as a single storey, mono-pitched garden pavilion, with full width glazing onto the courtyard garden, the new facade has been rotated towards the south to optimise views and light. The high level hillside garden views are framed by a picture window, which meets the requirements of the Dark Night Skies policies whilst taking in a previously entirely missed aspect of the setting.


architect               ArchitectureLIVE 
contractor            Les Knight & Son
kitchen                 Daulby and Tickle


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