Complete refurbishment and glazed extension to an old rectory, set within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Old Rectory is a detached Rectory dating back to the 1870s and is located in the village of Newenden in Kent. The property is set within two acres of picturesque landscape within the Newenden Conservation Area and designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site was first inhabited by the Rev.
William Greenhill in the late 19th century, financed by the village and built with emphasis on two large rooms (on the south side) for the purposes of space and entertainment. Unfortunately, the money raised was not enough to meet such extravagant expectations for the Rectory and a compromise was made with smaller, inadequate ‘servants’ quarters’ on the north side. The Rectory was sold in the 1920s, with the proceeds going to Canterbury rather than back to the villagers, causing fury amongst the community.
The current homeowners – a young family of five – purchased the property in 2012, two years before starting works, which allowed them to fully appreciate the pros and cons of what it had to offer. They then engaged Minifie Architects to look at extending the property, as well as significantly improving the very poor condition of the existing house – both in terms of stability and its energy and environmental efficiency. The design adds an additional two bedrooms (making five in total) and includes increased living space that is flexible and caters for the needs of a modern family. A new garage block provides useful additional living accommodation, car parking spaces and cycle storage.
The link between the existing house and extension is fully glazed and provides a view from north to south, creating an axis for the house. Minifie Architects also relocated the main staircase into this area, consolidating it as the heart of the home. The architects’ aim for the house was to reignite a transformation by balancing out the exhausted relationship and to relieve the tension of mal-functionality and decay of the existing building. The design of the extension reflects a careful orchestration of history, context, the family’s needs, manifesting in a refreshed and enhanced dwelling. The design draws strongly of the significance of the context and local area, as well as creating an intriguing juxtaposition between old and new. Ben Minifie, Director at Minifie Architects, said: “The Old Rectory has been a fantastic project to work on within the practice, with an understanding and hands-on client.
It was an honour to deliver this hugely rewarding project over the course of three years. It had it challenges given the unique location, juxtaposition between a historic building and contemporary design, but the overall result is a credit to team involved through the process.” The homeowners said: “After a nine-year property search, we finally found our dream period property with the most amazing gardens and views, ripe for updating and redevelopment. Working with the team from Minifie Architects made the whole project a breeze and their ideas and inspiration to bring The Old Rectory back to life and up to date for modern day living were truly outstanding.”