Thatched House Case Study
From 18th to 20th century
The house consists of two 18th century fishermen's cottages facing a large Norfolk broad. During the 1920s, the two cottages had been knocked into one and an extension added. Further extensions were added later. The house was difficult to use as it was almost impossible to get from one side to the other upstairs and the ground floor was a warren of small, dark rooms.
The house is within a conservation area so careful consideration of the outside appearance was important, with the use of natural materials at a scale to suit the existing building. I reordered the entire building, first by creating a wide entrance hall and guest annex. Then the interior was remodelled upstairs to provide access from one side to the other. One upper room facing the broad was turned into a living room, opening onto a new oak and steel balcony facing the broad. The balcony posts follow the rhythm of the existing building and complement it in scale and in the use of natural oak. Inside, part of the 1920s fittings were reused to form a drinks servery, complete with a fridge and a covered sink. The room opens onto a gallery within the double height living room, creating a place for entertainment and comfortable living.
All structural alterations were carried out in natural oak or redwood, and the new staircase up to the internal balcony was also in natural timber. All services, from sketch design to completion were provided.