Guildford by Gregory Phillips Architects, England
London-based award-winning architectural practice Gregory Phillips Architects has designed the Guildford project. The Victorian property has been remodelled whilst retaining some of its original features.
The client’s aspirations were for a bright, open-plan living space which did not fit with the pre-existing extension from the 1980s with narrow corridors and small rooms, somewhat of a rabbit warren.
The design proposal was for a two-storey extension in place of the existing 1980s one. To comply with the planner’s demands for subtlety, a basement level was created to accommodate the swimming pool by excavating into the sloping lawn. The main house was completely gutted while the extension was being built.
The most striking part of this modern home is the new steel and glass structure. This new space provides for a large, open-plan area on the upper level that relates to the main house and takes advantage of the views across the countryside, whilst the choice of white render for both buildings gives a visual connection between the old and new elements of the house. The indoor swimming pool opens onto a terrace and the garden beyond.
Inside, the spaces flow beautifully into one another, thanks to the engineered walnut flooring that has been laid throughout, whilst the white-painted walls help to unify all the rooms. The theme is largely monochrome with accents of bold colour and period shades. The dining room is furnished with a mixture of traditional and modern pieces, including an 1840s table which is the same age as the house. The interior of the Victorian wing has been opened up and the rooms have been enlargened so they are in proportion with the high ceilings of this luxury home.
The environmental performance of the existing house had been improved where possible, working within the restrictions of its listed status. For example, the loft was extensively insulated, as were any new floors and, although the original sash windows had to be kept single glazed, they have been refurbished to reduce heat loss.
The project took 15 months to complete and resulted in a fully refurbished Grade II-listed Victorian residence with a contemporary extension that both complements and contracts with the existing house. The clients use both the old and new parts of the house equally, for now it is a family home that is neither traditional nor contemporary, but a wonderful fusion of the two.
Images courtesy of Gregory Phillips Architects
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