House 141: minimalistic Houses by Andrew Wallace Architects

Behind this door lies a truly world-class barn conversion

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Manchester-based Andrew Wallace Architects are in charge of today’s homify 360° highlight, known as ‘House 141.

But first, a little background story: This existing building has developed and evolved over time with little in the way of cohesion or planning, consisting of a series of joined buildings, each carrying its own associated history. The result? A disjointed mix of differing architectural styles that sit uncomfortably together, ranging from a small worthy house (dating all the way back to the eighteenth century) and a barn from the nineteenth century that has been largely rebuilt with varying degrees of success (both locally listed buildings), to a large extension from the 1980s of questionable taste and a non-functioning indoor swimming pool.

The brief to the professionals in charge instructed them to renovate the areas of the building that had become rundown, make sense of these disparate parts and bring them all together as a unified whole. In addition, there was also a need for more light inside the house to go hand in hand with the new modern home and all its accommodation requirements, plus have a section of the house capable of functioning as a separate flat for another family member.

Was this brief met with success? Only one way to find out…

A crystal-clear vision

As we can see, lots and lots of glass were added to the final design, resulting in crystal-clear touches just about everywhere. 

The exposed stone gable wall off which the staircase is cantilevered remains the dominant structure and forms a rugged backdrop to the light touch of the modern glass treads, which in turn enhances the existing building and plays on the combination of two different architectural eras and technologies. 

Furthermore, a glass walkway over the double-height volume connects into the glass landing of the link extension, but does not impose itself on the space thanks to its translucency.

A light-filled cooking zone

This theme of new insertions being light in nature and generally deferential to the existing solid historic masses is continued in the extension to the kitchen, where a glass fin structure sits delicately on the gable wall. What once was an isolated and pokey kitchen is now large and full of light, giving the impression of bringing the external south-facing garden inside. 

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Double the size, double the style

Connectivity is improved with views to other sections of the house and an island unit orientated to face the double-height space of the living area. This double-height central hub of activity has been reformulated to become open plan and spacious. And thanks to a modern style that’s almost minimalist in appearance, the result is an open-plan layout that seems even more spacious than it really is.

What about the master suite?

The proposal for the dramatic first floor area of the barn accommodates the master bedroom, en-suite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. The rituals of washing, bathing and dressing are separated by a free-standing, white-plastered monolithic wall that enjoys quite the calm and serene appearance and, thus, does not impose on the style of the room. 

We simply need to scope out some more images of this world-class design, agreed?

Simply fantastic, or not your cup of tea – how do you feel about the new look?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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