Founded in 2011, Adam Knibb Architects was established with the aim of creating contemporary sustainable architecture. Boasting an extensive portfolio of commended projects, the practice has been particularly successful adding stylish extensions to existing structures.
Their work on one such project, Hurdle House, was recently recognised with a Structural Timber Award nomination in the ‘Architect of the Year’ category. The Grade II Listed barn in Alresford has a rich history having previously been part of the original sheep fairs in the 19th century. Hurdle House now operates as a family home but with the owners looking to create more living space, Adam Knibb and his team were tasked with designing a contemporary extension. Adam spoke to Premier Construction about the project:
“The clients lived in the Grade II Listed part of the barn and that was the only building on the site apart from a 1970s double garage. They wanted to utilise a bit more of their garden space to create a greater living area. They had a bay window at the back which wasn’t part of the original fabric of the barn. We went to the site and had a look at what they were intending to do which was effectively a small extension to the back of the barn. Whilst talking through and understanding their brief we really came up with this other idea that it would be quite nice to maximise their land and the views down their garden.
“We basically designed the extension to run at a 90 degree angle to the main barn which means you can enter into a bigger, open plan kitchen, living and dining space. The brief evolved and the client wanted something that was sympathetic to the existing building. As part of the planning permission we took down the double garage to maximise the site.
“We wanted to create something that was in a way subservient to the main house because of its listed status. We also wanted to create a modern interpretation of what was on the site and by separating from the main building we could ensure the two architectural styles didn’t clash. We kept a very simple palette of materials. We used oak cladding which was derived from the trees around the site. We then used some simple aluminium frame windows and a concreate plinth to set the building onto.”
While many projects involving listed buildings can come unstuck at the planning stages, Adam and his team worked hard with the conservation team from the beginning of the project to make sure they were aware of the proposed changes. Designed to be a simple and speedy build, the extension made use of a pre-fabricated timber frame.
Since the project was finished it has received hugely positive feedback, from both the client and industry professionals. Reflecting on this, Adam concluded:
“The client was really happy with the end result and really impressed with the space it gave. They can enjoy views down the garden and makes the overall site a more pleasant place to live. To also now be recognised on the awards front is very enjoyable and also means some credit is given to the guys who worked on it.”