Maidstone Listed Building Family Annexe

Large Contemporary Extension to Listed Manor House

Our client had been considering moving house because of the lack of space, but they are now so thrilled with the design they plan to start work soon.

The client wanted to enlarge the house to provide space for a modern contemporary family area with views over the surrounding countryside. A previous scheme had been refused and an appeal had failed.

This is a common requirement for owners of listed buildings and we feel strongly that appropriately designed extensions are really important to secure the long term viability of houses that lack the spaces that people expect in modern homes. Without the potential for change, these properties will become less desirable in time and eventually could suffer from neglect.

We achieved planning and listed building consent to double the size of the existing house at ground floor, 75m2 (800sqft), plus a further 122m2 (1,300 sqft) at lower ground floor level, plus an outdoor pool area.

The additional space gives the client a large new Family Room leading onto a raised terrace area and a Games Room at the lower level with direct access to the pool and garden. It turns the property from a large house with lots of small rooms that are difficult to use to a large family home with lovely spaces to live and entertain in.

The house is grade II listed, located in an isolated rural setting and is noted by the Georgian Group as a fine example of a farmhouse which retains legible and distinct phases of development dating from the early 17th century to the 20th century.

It was originally a late 16th or early 17th century timber framed two-storey farmhouse but was re-modelled in the early 18th century and provided with a new Georgian brick façade, that was the height of architectural fashion at the time. The interior of the building was also rearranged in the 18th century and all but one of the original partitions  removed with new walls added in new locations. 

A single-storey lean-to with a cat-slide roof was also add to the north-eastern side of the farmhouse in two stages. The first addition to the rear west corner was added soon after the house was built and was probably used as a scullery. Whilst very little of the structure remains, but some old fabric can be glimpsed in places. The original hand-hewn wall-plates survive in the walls and old dovetail joints suggest the original plate was held in place with tie-beams fixed to the rear wall of the main house. The cat-slide roof structure is now sagging and uneven and we will be carefully repairing that to preserve as much as possible.

We needed to avoid harming the original Georgian farmhouse and in particular the existing cat-slide at the rear. So we created an innovative design junction to connect the existing cat-slide and new extension roof together. Our solution uses a glazed hip end so that the entire cat slide element of the original building is visible from inside.

We also reduced the roof volume and ridge height by splitting it into three bays so that the ridge height is well below the existing cat-slide and that way the extension is completely subservient to the existing building.

Because the land falls away from the house, we were able to take advantage of the site contours to fit a basement below the extension, adding another bedroom, a Games Room and outdoor pool. The basement structure needed to be carefully design to avoid harm to the existing building and we supported our design drawings with an outline structural method statement to explain how the existing listed building foundations would be preserved from movement during the basement excavation.

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