Our clients were looking to downsize and, as is often the case, were unable to find the property that suited all their requirements. We visited several properties with our clients when we finally stumbled upon a beautiful, but tiny, two-bedroom cottage in the South-East corner of the Lake District National Park. Set in beautiful grounds with magnificent views of the surrounding fells and a river at the bottom of the garden this Beatrix Potter style property melted their hearts and was snapped up immediately.
The brief was simple but challenging, maintain the charm of the Lake District cottage whilst introducing a contemporary wing to accommodate modern family life.
Working closely with the planning team at the Lake District National Park Authority a contemporary glazed extension, which followed the contours of the existing roofline of the cottage, evolved. A small garage and annex in the garden to house additional guests if required was tucked behind the property.
The project was full of challenges. The old cottage was taken back to the original walls and the roof was removed, uncovering damaged roof timbers and substantial cracks in the stone work. With the assistance of the design team and structural engineers every attempt was made to conserve and salvage wherever possible. The ground floor was excavated to provide additional headroom on both the ground and first floor levels and the existing dry-stone wall construction was underpinned. The old cottage rose again with its new internal layout, improved floor levels and a new Burlington blue slate roof.
Attention could now turn to the new extension and annex. The extension envelopes the cottage on two sides and was designed to be the heart of the home accommodating the kitchen/utility/boot room, a dining room and sitting room. A ground floor bedroom and bathroom are located to the rear. Large glazed walls flood the main room with light whilst the views of the surrounding Lakeland fells can be seen from every angle of the room. Retractable doors open onto the new decked terrace and garden beyond. Deep overhanging eaves, dressed in cedar, were designed to give protection from the inclement Lakeland weather.
The extension was clad in local stone and cedar, leaving the steel exposed giving the building a contemporary feel. Galvanised steel guttering continues the contemporary theme. A sedum roof tops both the extension and annex providing additional insulation and reducing surface run off for rainwater, as well as improving the view from above.
Incorporating renewable technology into the build was high on the list of priorities. Boreholes were sunk into the ground around the property and a ground source heat pump installed alongside underfloor heating. As with all Ben Cunliffe Architects projects, the building is super insulated throughout and the highest quality windows were installed.
The vernacular cottage contrasts with the contemporary glazed extension but by using local materials where possible the extension blends seamlessly into the landscape.
Warriner Yeat, Crook, Kendal LA8 8LH | T: 01539 488122/447662 | Registered in England 06521250
Lyth Valley Cottage taken by Tony West