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White House

The project involves a series of extensions made to a listed thatched cottage on the outskirts of Nettleton near Chippenham. David and Helga have three children and since they also both work at home, the house was beginning to feel increasingly cramped. We were asked to examine ways in which this beautiful building could be adapted to provide a space for the family to gather in and to enable the cottage to connect more easily to the garden. The clients were very influenced by the writings of Christopher Alexander (Pattern Language) and were anxious that any building was at the same time sympathetic and contemporary. In particular the use of materials and detailing needed to reflect a sense of care and permanence. The result is very much an amalgam of creative dialogue with the local planning officers, the clients and ourselves. More particularly the form of cottage and the nature of the site suggested an appropriate location for the changes. Read more...

The new day space has been placed at right angles to the original structure as a 'protecting arm' thereby forming an area of semi-enclosed courtyard used for outside eating in fine weather. The 'arm' is treated on the road side with a wall constructed with stone reclaimed from the surrounding garden and elements of disused wall elsewhere on the site. A clerestory allows the new roof form to 'peep' over the protective wall allowing light into the kitchen but maintaining privacy. In order to maximise sun-light entering the living room of the main house the glazing pattern changes to a deeper window with roof glazing over as a means of separating the new from the old. Between these two glazing elements is a small ventilation stack serving the cooking area of the kitchen, which punctuates the roadside composition. On the courtyard side the corner of the building opens up with a series of large doors allowing the family space to extend easily into the garden.



  • Location:
    Nettleton, Wiltshire
  • Size:
    170 Sq m
  • Key info:
    Listed Building | Highly bespoke
  • Awards:

    R.I.B.A. Town and Country Award 2004