The South Downs National Park is an area of outstanding beauty with landscapes that cover 1,600km2 of breath-taking views and hidden gems. From rolling hills to bustling market towns and ‘picture perfect’ villages, the landscape has inspired creative people to celebrate and record it in many ways, inspiring artists such as Turner and writers like Jane Austen and Rudyard Kipling. When tackling a renovation in this outstanding area using the right building materials is vitally important in order to conserve and enhance this part of the heritage and ensure that the materials are sensitive to the surrounding landscape and its rich history.
‘The Downs’, now a stunningly extended and refurbished five bedroom home, was once a vicarage of St Andrews and is set amidst its own private grounds in a fold of the South Downs within the sought after hamlet of Bishopstone. The tranquil and historic setting of the hamlet forms a conservation area and the house is believed to date from the late Victorian period. When planning the renovation of this impressive property it was important to inject a modern stamp whilst, at the same time, preserving character and ensuring the home sits well within its deeply historic setting.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the renovation is the thirty foot open plan modern kitchen/dining area which has been designed with Bereco timber folding, sliding doors which span almost the whole breadth of the space, creating floods of natural light and opening up the room to the spectacular views of the surroundings. Each timber folding door set effortlessly slides and folds outwards so as not to interfere with the internal space and provides a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor space. The result, a beautifully light and airy kitchen/dining space perfect for family dining and alfresco entertaining in the summer months.
Parker Joinery worked closely with the client and the design team at Bereco to ensure that each and every design detail was carefully considered to ensure design sensitivity. The traditional sliding sash windows are finished in a RAL 9010 Pure White which works perfectly with the red brick and keeps the design effortlessly simple. Polished Chrome fittings, including hook lifts and fitch fasteners accentuate the simple modern design. The bay window to the living room allows views across the whole of the garden space and creates a perfectly relaxing serene space.
The entrance door was designed with a frame in RAL 9010 to tie in with the windows and doors with the leaf fully finished in rich blue (BS381 105 Oxford Blue) which provides a real feature entrance and sits perfectly against the red brick façade. Being the official colour of the University of Oxford, this provides a bold historic finish, perfect to complement the traditional timber paneling and antique black accessories.
This impressive renovation really is both a demonstration of modern style and, at the same time, a building which appreciates the history, heritage and beautiful of its setting and surrounding landscape (before picture below).