PJH Architectural Services were appointed by our clients to produce proposals for the extensive internal remodelling and entrance atrium extension, along with outbuilding works to their stunning country barn house in rural Ramsbottom, Bury. A contact of our client, who is an Architect based in Scotland, upon reviewing our website, suggested that our client get in touch with us, as we felt like a perfect fit based on their brief and extensive scope of works.
Overlooking the extensive rural landscapes of Ramsbottom, our clients property is immediately captivating, with a bold, original sandstone façade tying in into the surrounding natural landscape. The property is, in fact, two former attached farmhouses that were converted into a single dwelling in the 1970’s, however minimal work had been done to keep the property up to date since; it was clear from the outset that extensive internal work would be required in order to bring the former farmhouses up to the standards of modern family living.
The two existing properties were both still very clearly defined internally, with an imposing 1m wide original party wall running the full length of the property, with minimal openings within for access between the two previous properties. As such, the internal layout was dictated by the party wall and the property still felt like two dwellings. The brief therefore was to bring the two properties into one dwelling fit for modern life, while retaining much of the rural character of the original buildings. We needed to create a cohesive internal layout that our clients would feel connected in and be able to call their forever home. Maximising the connectivity with the outstanding valley views was of the utmost importance, while giving consideration to how the new spaces would work in conjunction with the existing external space.
The starting point for the design was to create a new focal point entrance to the property – the two original entrances to each dwelling were still both in use and made for an inefficient circulation route around the property. Having explored a number of previous local projects completed by PJH Architectural Services, our clients loved the idea presented of a glazed atrium capturing views out into the open landscape beyond from within the property, with a large pivot door welcoming you inside. The setting of this new double height entrance atrium within the smaller of the two original dwellings quickly opened up the larger of the two, allowing it to be used as the new principal entertaining/social space for our client’s family home. This new open plan family space consists of a generous new kitchen, dining area and cosy snug space separated by a floating fireplace centrepiece. A feature 6.5m set of sliding doors opens up the entire family space to the garden and maximises views beyond, bringing our client’s ever closer to the landscapes they fell in love with when purchasing the property. Not only did our client’s new home come with two front doors, but two staircases – one within each original dwelling! Removing the redundant second staircase provided a range of spatial opportunities to take advantage of; a full height wine wall acts as a focal point within the snug area and doubles up as a façade to conceal a ’hidden utility’ within this new space, alongside a plant room to house the new services of Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), Ground source heat pump (GSHP) and air source heat pump (ASHP), these measures along with a full array of solar panels (PV) are installed to bring the property up to date with modern energy efficiency and to future proof the property from ever rising energy bills.
At ground floor, we looked to celebrate the original 1m wide party wall which had originally separated the two dwellings. A new opening created within the wall towards the front of the dwelling provides double door access from the new open entrance area into the open plan family area, and acts as a defining threshold between the spaces; double doors set within the opening give a sense of arrival into the family space and the original larger property. At the ground floor, the smaller original dwelling offers a slight change of mood – in contrast to the large entertaining space it provides a more quiet escape, housing a new private lounge and a small office space tucked away to the rear, all complete with a WC and elegantly designed recessed coats, boots & storage spaces.
At first floor the brief was simple, to provide 4 spacious double bedrooms so that their growing family could all have their own space and areas of recluse. A new feature open staircase flows up to the first floor and splits off towards each wing of our client’s home. To the left, two generous guest rooms alongside the first of the main bedrooms overlooking the landscapes beyond through feature floor to ceiling glazing. The bedroom is complete with an en-suite and walk-in-wardrobe, as well as a small window seat out into the open atrium. Across the new open landing is the new family bathroom with the new master suite beyond. This master suite comes complete with a two dressing rooms with laundry chutes leading directly down into the ground floor utility room, as well as a grande en-suite finished with a standalone bathtub that sits elegantly alongside new full height feature glazing to enjoy the landscape picture views from within the tub! The new master suite has been carefully designed to ensure the property is futureproofed – with the erection of a single stud wall and the removal of another, the dressing rooms can quickly be converted into an additional bedroom to maximise the value of the dwelling should our clients ever come to sell.
Externally, PJH Architectural Services also took on the project of creating proposals for the conversion of the existing outbuilding on site, in order to provide a vibrant outside entertaining space. Flowing over two split levels, the outbuilding lent itself nicely to a series of subtly divided spaces – at the upper level, a snooker room with new bi-folding doors opening up to our client’s garden, while internal steps lead you down to the lower level providing an open entertaining area. A second set of bi-folding doors on the gable end maximises connectivity with the landscapes beyond, opening up the outbuilding to allow the outside to flood in and the inside to flood out through a carefully crafted inside/outside bar/kitchen area.
Planning, building regulations & tender
Conscious of the fact that our client’s property sat within greenbelt and a conservation area, Rossendale Councils planning guidance was constantly reviewed throughout the process in order to ensure the proposals would be favourable to planning officials as well as designing within our client’s best interest. Planning was submitted in June 2023 and we’re delighted to have recently received approval. On receipt of planning consent, we produced our detailed and comprehensive building regulations and tender package of information which in conjunction with structural engineers’ drawings, provided the client with the opportunity to tender their proposed works to a selection of established north-west based contractors.
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Tel: 0161 4600382