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The Stables
Kent

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Replacing a pair of old stables with a contemporary home was both a planning and a construction challenge, but it was worth all the effort.

Situated in the Green Belt, the large site was part of the curtilage of the existing home that our customers were looking to downsize from. A pair of stables enjoyed the prime view across the valley above the house and so the strategy was to replace them with a new home and split the site in two.

 

A two stage planning approach was required to bring this project to life. Firstly an application was made to convert the stables into a dwelling, which was consented. With that principle established, a second application was submitted for a new build dwelling, though great care had to be paid to the design and in particular the massing of the building to ensure it did not have any adverse impact on the setting.

To make matters more interesting, the spot for the new home was over 100m down a track from the nearest road, and was surrounded by paddocks which would remain the home of the family's horses.

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The single storey design, composed of two interconnected forms with different roof heights, is clad in a premium grade Western Red Cedar to help it blend in to the rural setting. Contrasting anthracite grey aluminium panels are set around the windows and external doors to help break up the massing and give articulation to the facades.

Huge swathes of windows open up the building on the west side to the newly landscaped garden, formerly a sand school for the horses, and exploit the incredible view across the valley and above the old house - now our customers get to enjoy it, not just the horses.

New utilities connections at the road meant a very long service trench to the house and the heavy clay soil meant that the on site sewage treatment system required a large drainage field to ensure that the land did not become waterlogged. It's not the most exciting part of a new home, but the challenge of coordinating all of these requirements is key part of our service.

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On the inside, the main entrance opens to a corridor that runs the entire length of the building and is top lit by a run of rooflights that also open to help vent warm air in the summer. The end of the corridor was deliberately left open into a small study area, so that you can see right through to the picture window at the far end.

To the west, the taller form contains a large open plan kitchen, dining and living space, with a bespoke bioethanol fireplace unit as a central feature. A main bedroom suite also enjoys the western views, and to the east side of the plan lie two more ensuite bedrooms and a utility room.

With heating and hot water coming from an air source heat pump, alongside our standard super insulated Facit Chassis, triple glazed windows and MVHR system, the high environmental performance of the home is matched by the low running costs our customers are now enjoying.

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