Vine cottage involved the remodeling and extension of an existing dwelling which forms part of a linear group of traditional buildings fronting Weston Green, a conservation area near Thames Ditton.
The existing building was a simple, heavily altered, two-storey structure – probably mid 18th century with 19th Century additions beneath a handmade clay plain tile roof. The building had been poorly repaired and maintained, and the façade had been heavily remodeled in the 1960s to the extent that its original pattern could not be discerned.
With the support of the local planning and conservation officers, we expanded the existing accommodation to the rear and into the roof to accommodate an additional third bedroom and a larger kitchen/dining area. The two-storey core of the building was retained and repaired. The front elevation was redesigned to be more in keeping with the adjoining dwellings thanks to simple and elegantly proportioned new windows.
The existing ground floor was below the level of the adjoining pavement and our aim was to raise this to reduce the risk of damp penetration and to ensure a level threshold. The height of the front wall was raised to match the eaves height of the adjoining house.
The development had to be of both sustainable and inclusive in design, meets the requirement for ambulant disabled users and can be converted for wheelchair users. Naturally sourced, sustainable or non-toxic building materials such as low/no VOC paint, no U-PVC windows, door and other products were used in preference of man-made non-recyclable materials.