The Old Vicarage
The Old Vicarage was a residential project that Peak Architects completed in Barlow Village, Sheffield. The project provided a contemporary extension and link between the old vicarage and barn and was positioned in an underused and dark courtyard to provide an extension to the living accommodation with direct access onto a private east facing terrace.
The works included the construction of new single story extension within the footprint of the original conservatory and opening up of the walls between the conservatory and barn.
Peak Architects approach was to create a simple room providing a flexible relaxed living space to be used at any time of day.
The new garden room has only one façade and is formed mostly of a minimal glazing system. Great care and attention was paid to the new stone cladding and surrounding stonework of both the existing house and cemetery walls.
PREMIER CONSTRUCTION spoke to Paul Holden of Peak Architects about the works.
How did you get involved with this project?
“We were approached by the client who had first seen our work at Chatsworth House, further research on the website and client testimonials reinforced their decision to use Peak Architects. They liked our approach to heritage, in terms of looking at ways we can preserve the fabric and essence of the existing building and introduce new elements which are contemporary but in keeping with the character of the original buildings.”
What was the brief?
“From the outset the client was clear that any intervention and extension should re-inforce the character of the individual components of this Grade II listed ‘Old Vicarage’. They wanted to be ‘wowed’ and for the space to seamlessly connect the house to an adjacent barn that housed guest accommodation and a media room. The space had to be light and airy; yet operate all year round so also needed to be thermally efficient.
“We started looking at it in terms of the space; how it could function and the nature of how it could be used at all times of the year and throughout the day – it was the nature and function of its uses that determined the brief.”
What were the challenges with a project integrating the contemporary into a heritage build?
“The project commenced on October 2017 and was completed in May 2018; this was longer than the original anticipated six month build. With any historical building there are unknowns and in this instance this was the crux of the delay ; until you start opening it up you don’t quite understand what is there and there were a few things that had to evolve; it was just one of those things.
“In this instance the principle delays were around the diversion of existing services and integration of the new structural frame into the historic fabric.”
Were the clients happy with it?
“The clients were absolutely ecstatic with it! They were surprised at how quickly this has become the focal point of the house – they kept saying ‘how did we manage before we had this space?’.
How important was this project for Peak Architects?
“It was very important to be involved with a project like this. We do a variety of projects of various scales but doing one where you can be innovative and push the boundaries of design has been immensely rewarding.
Above all we have exceeded our client’s expectations and given them a home that they are immensely proud off – as an architect this in itself makes us very happy.”