In the early seventies an entrepreneur developer bought a small farm on the edge of a hill, with amazing views down and across a stone-built village and out into rolling Cotswolds countryside. There was a bungalow, a small brick farmhouse and a stone barn with some stables. Our client shared the land with a friend and set MRT Architects the task to build two new separate houses on distinct parts of the land. The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty sets significant constraints which required a very considered design approach, both with planning officers and the local Parish Council.
South Hills Farm was the inspiration for the replacement farmhouse, creating a new imposing Cotswold stone but subtly designed house expressly in the Cotswold style. The house looks above ground to be two storey, but above are two bedroom suites in an expansive attic served by a stairway under a lightwell. Below is a substantial basement which adjoins a new single storey extension which stretches, submerged below ground out to the adjacent stone barn. In this link is an amazing swimming pool with bifold doors overlooking a courtyard and outdoor kitchen which progresses up to a contemporary garden with those views! There is a surprise too as a spiral staircase pops up into the old barn, which has been completely transformed incorporating many architectural historical features into a self-contained annex, with kitchen dining, two storey sitting room and two bedroom suites.
Both the barn and the Cotswold farmhouse have oak and glass timber framed sunroom living spaces, which jut forward onto the edge of the escarpment with that panoramic vista. The house itself has a deep plan, cleverly disguised by multi gables at the rear which allow for a galleried atrium hall, open to above and below, with a crafted curved staircase. In addition to a formal dining room and sitting room, there are kitchens and family rooms. Downstairs is a cinema and wine room with a gym in the basement linked to the pool via a glazed screen and door for a visual connection. Upstairs there are bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, a study and a laundry room.
This was a really interesting project which pushed the constraints of the protected landscape to the limit of acceptability with a carefully considered planning strategy and excellent presentation of the creative ideas.
The new house fits very comfortably into its surroundings, blending seamlessly with the outstanding natural beauty of the Cotswolds.
Agricultural barn in Snitterfield gains Class Q Approval
Taking advantage of the Class Q agricultural permitted development order we have managed to gain approval for a change of use from agricultural to residential.
This redundant agricultural building has approval to be converted into 4 dwellings, encapsulated within the original building footprint. Careful consideration has been given to materials to ensure the original agricultural aesthetic is maintained, whilst blending some modern refinements intended to make this redundant agricultural shell a pleasurable place to call home!
A blooming addition to this Cotswold Co-op Store
The newly planted shrubs and flowers at the Co-op store near Cheltenham have fared well despite the winter snow and frost and all are just beginning to embrace this lovely Cotswold setting.
MRT were involved with the retail store façade for the whole development including detailed design of all the paving, terraces, carpark and planting beds. We selected and prepared schedules of individual species in zones around the buildings following a theme of pinks and purples. All evergreen, fragrant and with seasonal interest and as robust as possible. Its looking good and smells good too!
Planning permission granted for beautiful historic Cotswold property
Nestled amongst the most important historical church, almshouses and remnants of an amazing pre-Tudor house is The Tithe House, an outstanding Arts and Crafts dwelling emulating perfectly the essence of the Cotswold style.
Planning permission has been granted for alterations and extensions to The Tithe House, Chipping Campden in this extraordinary setting surrounded by listed buildings of great merit including the Grade I Wool Church of St James with its 15th century perpendicular architecture.
MRT Architects were commissioned to obtain planning to update the house in this highly sensitive location. The design was accepted by the conservation officer which included demolition of modern work and new rear and side extensions with substantial internal alterations and new windows all in jurassic oolitic limestone. Building work is now ongoing.
New President Role for David Taylor
David Taylor Consultant Architect for MRT Architects has a new challenge leading the Rotary Club of Stratford-upon-Avon as their new President.
The club meets weekly to unite and take action to create lasting change for the district. The Club hosts many charity events including the Shakespeare Marathon and the Shakespeare Hospice Golf Day to raise awareness and funding.