Text description provided by the architects. The charming hung tiled Warren Cottage in Kingston upon Thames has been beautifully renovated and extended to turn the formerly dilapidated gatehouse into an elegant contemporary home.
The mid-nineteenth century Victorian dwelling once marked the entry into Richmond Park, and set in its own spacious gardens, it is designated as a building of Townscape Merit in the Coombe Wood conservation area.
Commissioned in 2012 to extend the cottage and create a large family home required an architecture of restraint. With the cottage restored to its former glory, the new extension meets the old with a touch of glass. Its palette is muted but precise, with crafted iroko timber glulams meeting sharp board-marked concrete walls. Together they form a restrained but striking palette that sits comfortably next to the detailed tiled faces of the cottage.
The finished scheme manifests itself as a new two-storey extension, with a separate garden room building. The double height space above the kitchen and dining area flow into the more secluded lounge. Looking out over the still pool and the retained mature trees, one encounters the garden room. A separate building, the garden room acts as a self-contained retreat, approached under a louvered timber walkway.
Environmental concerns were considered throughout the project, with the concrete walls and flooring providing essential thermal mass, and green roofs reducing the water run-off and also filtering pollutants.
The result is a project that allows the architectural languages of the contemporary and Victorian to relate to each other and form a stimulating and respectful dialogue. The delightful cottage has been fully restored and can again be appreciated for its architectural and historical interest, whilst now also providing a 6 bedroom family home.