Planning Consultant: Judith Norris Ltd.
Structural Engineer: R&J Structural Solutions Ltd
Main Contractor: BCS Builders
Text description provided by the architects. The Apple Store is a lovingly designed flexible and fun family home located in the heart of Goudhurst, Kent, situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known as ‘the Goudhurst Fruit Belt’. The project sees an apple packing station transformed into a vibrant five-bedroom family home and live/work space complete with triple height yoga studio, photography workshop, pool and children’s secret hideaways. The project was subject to strict conditions by the planners requiring the visual integrity, scale, structure and agricultural character of the original Fruit packing Station be retained. The part business designation (class B1) also had to be retained which supplements the new C3 use creating a truly integrated and highly successful Living and Working Space.
Large open-plan spaces are created under the free-span industrial roof, with rooms divided by sliding doors constructed from birch plywood. The communal areas at ground level and the cellular private spaces above are all oriented around a triple-height internal courtyard in the centre of the house. The generous volume of this space can be used as a workshop,yoga studio or badminton court, located underneath original metal beams, which are exposed but painted white to match the cool interior finishes. The main living spaces feature large aperture windows framing key vistas to the surrounding woodland. In spring an apple orchard will be planted on site as a continuation of the ‘Goudhurst Fruit Belt’ serving as a reminder of the history of the site.
Low cost materials have been used throughout the project in inventive ways to deliver interiors of affordable luxury, throughout the home polished concrete floors flow seamlessly from one room to another. The building is topped by a corrugated metal roof, featuring private terraces and refurbished extract cowls that are now chimneys for the log burning stoves below.
The Apple Store is divided with flexible studios and workspaces to the east and living areas to the west. A 5m x 10m swimming pool is located at the furthest end of the building, including a large glazed opening looking out onto the adjacent woods. This aspect remains hidden from neighbouring properties, offering the family privacy while swimming. The home sensitively retains and celebrates the utilitarian and agricultural DNA of the building whilst showcasing beautifully and carefully considered modern interventions throughout the space. The combination of the historic and contemporary provides a large canvas for ever changing living patterns which will evolve with the family
Andy Puncher, Director of pH+, said: “The Apple Store was a really exciting project to work on from a planning policy and cost effectiveness point of view to deliver a materiality and quality of spaces which work for both residential and commercial uses within an agricultural aesthetic at approximately £1000 / m2. It is truly a building of, from and integral to its place delivering”