The Farmer’s House acts as the UK base for AR Design Studio’s clients, who return to the English countryside from their travels to tend to their farmstead. Set on a private estate in the most western part of the South Downs National Park, the house’s rural location is its raison d’etre.
AR Design Studio were approached by the clients who were looking to add a completely self-contained yet joined annexe, that would be a space for their children and grandchildren to ‘take over’ when they were staying.
The team at AR Design Studio proposed an extension and makeover that would wrap everything together in a unified and elegant form. The old and new are joined by a glazed link that sits between the existing house and the new annexe. The annex, which sits to the east, is surrounded by a large covered alfresco dining and relaxing area. The terrace and pool sat centrally in front of the house are tied in with a large sweeping canopy above. This reaches around the existing house, and continues to the west of the plot, providing an additional sheltered seating space. This canopy incorporates openings for the existing trees and partial shading elements, providing protection to the southern facing façade with delicate timber louvres.
Visually, the extension appears as a single mass placed on the landscape, with the snug, kitchen/living and dining space, utility room, and two of 3 bedrooms on the ground floor. Small punctuations have been made into the timber cladding to introduce natural light, yet their scale kept modest to protect the rooms from the on looking driveway. The geometry of the façade is clad with fibre cement and provides the dining area with more privacy. The hidden subterranean mass below avoids a visual bulk which could otherwise swamp the existing house’s proportions, and includes a bedroom, plant room and garage space for 2 cars.