South Downs Glazed Extension
This property is a sympathetic modern extension to a traditional flint barn deep in the South Downs. Pfeiffer Design, under the guidance of British Institute of Interior Design Registered Interior Designer, Susie Pfeiffer, handled the entire project from start to finish, working with a trusted professional team including architects, structural engineers and the main contractor. At over 300 square metres, it was a major undertaking: we spent two years in the planning stage, followed by a year of construction, then a further six months of interior furnishing and outdoor landscaping.
The building marries vernacular knapped flint, slate and bricks with contemporary glass and decking. Our efforts were rewarded with a magnificent contemporary building that blends seamlessly with the original. We also won a prestigious Sussex Heritage Award, which recognise and celebrate the highest achievements in conservation, restoration and design.
The extension was designed and built to minimise its carbon footprint. We specified and installed the latest sustainable technologies, including a ground-source heat pump to provide heating and hot water, a rainwater harvesting system to provide water for the garden, an unobtrusive photovoltaic slate system to produce electricity, and a sedum roof to reduce rainwater run-off and flood risk.
Lighting was a central element of the design brief. Inside, we created an atmospheric scheme based on a combination of decorative, sculptural pendants and concealed hi-tech LED lighting. The exterior lighting scheme was carefully integrated into the landscape design, highlighting the courtyard and the textured masonry walls to great effect.
The project began with a huge dig-out to keep the extension roof below the level of the historic barn. The courtyard garden was surrounded by an original flint wall; we used modern gabions filled with limestone as a contemporary take on this vernacular style. The koi carp pond was positioned so the sound of running water would be audible inside the house, creating a calming background sound; reflections from the water play on the internal walls and ceilings when the sun comes out.
We planted four white Himalayan birch trees to mark out the external dining area; simple prairie-grass borders give height and movement all year. The porcelain tiles in the glazed entrance were laid from inside to out, creating a contemporary platform and blurring the boundary between the two areas.