An exceptional renovation has just taken place on a private estate in the westernmost part of England’s South Downs National Park. The team over at AR Design Studio was approached by the owners of “The Farmer’s House” after a series of previous alterations and mismatched extensions left the home feeling unbalanced. The existing property required a self-sufficient yet adjoined annex that would provide a space for their children and grandchildren to “take over” when they visited.
The studio suggested both a large extension and a makeover that would transform the entire property into a futuristic farmhouse. They were able to wrap everything together by blending the structure’s traditional geometry with new upscale architecture. Today, the house boasts a contemporary look while staying true to its agricultural roots.
From the onset of the project, the team knew exactly what was needed to transform the disordered farmhouse into a welcoming home: a visible contrast. This is apparent all throughout the new design. Inside, the finishes are kept minimal with cool gray tones, while natural light from a few strategically-placed skylights serves to warm up the furnishings. Outside, warm touches of linear timber cladding are mixed with a cool-toned rural material. The house’s remaining original facades have been clad in Kebony wood to match those of the extension, while the north elevation has been covered in zinc, which itself continues out over the roof to create an overhang.
Andy Ramus, the director of AR Design Studio, explains: “Without Kebony we would not have been able to achieve our intended design for The Farmer’s House. This incredible material enabled us to unite a modern extension with a traditional building that now sits perfectly in its idyllic countryside setting. The natural aesthetic of the Kebony cladding, alongside its high-quality credentials, proved Kebony was the right material for the job, and we can’t wait to see how it adapts over time.”
On the east side of the house, you’ll find the annex surrounded by a large covered alfresco dining and lounging area. The terrace and pool, on the other hand, are placed directly in front of the house. Just above them, a large sweeping canopy extends to the west of the plot and provides cover for yet another seating area. To minimize the construction’s effect on its natural surroundings, this canopy has been fitted with a few openings for a few existing trees to pass through.
The new extension houses a kitchen/living room, a dining area, a utility room, and two of the ground floor’s three bedrooms. Small punctuations have been made in the timber cladding to let in natural light, but their scale has been kept relatively modest to protect the rooms from the reflection of the exterior driveway.
The ground floor was intentionally structured to sit above ground to prevent darkness from overwhelming the rooms. A double floor-to-ceiling window sits in the third bedroom to take advantage of natural light, while an enclosed outdoor wall allows it maintain a sense of privacy. A plant room and a garage space are also located on this level.
Adrian Pye, the International Sales Director at Kebony, adds: “The Farmer’s House is an extraordinary project which perfectly demonstrates both the visual and practical quality of Kebony wood. AR Design Studio has created an architectural masterpiece, which we anticipate will become an award-winning project for years to come; we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this exceptional farmhouse.”