We were approached to deliver a solution for a private client to create a new, wheelchair accessible dwelling on the site of their existing home, in order to meet changing living needs. The site currently incorporates a private dwelling, garden and horse paddock and is situated on greenbelt land.
Following pre-planning advice, we developed our recommendations with reference to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Greenbelt Policy CP8 and advised our client to seek approval for the building replacement within the Greenbelt Policy as an exceptional case, ensuring that it ‘is in the same use and not materially larger than the one it replaces.’
Our solution aimed to integrate the existing dwelling and horse paddock, in order to consolidate the building form. In keeping with the rural area and its mix of small industrial and farm buildings, as well as the client’s accessibility needs, we recommended single-storey dwelling.
We identified a pavilion typology as an appropriate form for the new dwelling, while the recommended use of timber was informed by buildings typical of rural settings. We recommended timber slatted cladding as a natural material that will age and transform over time, incorporating latticed slatting with windows behind in areas where visual privacy will be required.
We selected a tripartite arrangement for the layout of the building, which means that is has been divided into three areas; a northern wing that houses all private and service facilities (bedrooms, bathroom, studio, utility and wardrobe space), a well-lit and airy central spine, which provides a variety of views and light effects, and a southern wing, which houses living, dining and kitchen facilities.
Our proposed colonnaded gallery provides covered space as an outdoor extension of these living facilities, maximises views and connection to the landscape and extends the use of the living spaces.
Our plan uses a fireplace as a focal point in the living area and as a subtle divider of living spaces. Sliding doors have been recommended wherever appropriate to be fully accessible when opening or closing doorways and adjustable kitchen units have been suggested to permit use for both wheelchair and able users alike.