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Heritage facades

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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If you are blessed to be one of the lucky few living within the walls of a heritage listed,,or traditional home, then you know first and foremost the trials and tribulations of owning an old property. Whilst the reward of owning a slice of history may seem grand, the maintenance and cost of running these antiquated homes often outweighs the positives. It cannot be denied; a heritage facade, in the sea of stock-standard homes we see today, is a refreshing and much welcomed change. They are also incredibly beautiful, riddled with character, personality and charm, and we would encourage anyone who is willing to listen to invest the time and money to help retain the past. Since the UK hosts so many of these types of homes, we wanted to cover the type of upkeep that is required, as well as investigate as many issues or problems that you may face in the future. Whether you are looking to buy an old home, or wanting to renovate your existing heritage listed property, today, we are going to look at all the ins and outs of these beautiful houses.

Know the history of your home

We cannot stress it enough—knowing the history of your home is one of the most important factors. If your house was purchased from a lineage of original owners, you may become one of the lucky few who can tell the story of their new house, in turn, starting your own history between its walls! Generally speaking, homes that have their history documented are in better condition, not only because they are being lived in, but also because these owners are more likely to want to preserve and maintain the building. Photographer Oliver Pohlmann, from Oliver Pohlmann Photography, has captured this stunning estate in all its glory. Keeping a photographic diary of your home through renovation, or simply to document time, is a great way to ensure it's legacy will be immortalised and live on forever.

Energy matters

Hollycroft Avenue, Hampstead:  Houses by Alan Higgs Architects
Alan Higgs Architects

Hollycroft Avenue, Hampstead

Alan Higgs Architects

As mentioned in the above photo, when completing extensions, the decision to either match or separate the new build from the original needs to be made. In this case, this wonderful red brick home, which was built by Sir Guy Dawber in 1907, has received a culmination of the two. Upgrades were completed which retained the existing facade, but some new elements were also added. You may not know just by looking at it, but this home has been extended in three different directions, doubling its original size. Old homes, much to our dismay, didn't consider the all important energy saving factors that are held in such high regard now. Alan Higgs Architects, the firm responsible for this project, battled with an old-world internal layout, and reinvigorated the inside spaces to make them open, easily accessible and most importantly, filled with light. These upgrades not only improve the function of the home, but make it much more livable throughout the changing seasons. 

Making changes

No matter how much we've fallen in love with an old home in its original form, there will always be things we feel need adjusting or upgrading. Sometimes, the existing layout doesn't suit the needs of a growing or busy family, so we would like to think it is possible to accommodate some new, and necessary changes. In doing so, generally speaking, we are required to seek the approval of the council or heritage association, depending on the grade of your home, first. The most important aspect to consider when extending an old home is to ensure the new build is either completely different, so as to show the obvious divide of old and new, or to build with old materials with the aim of constructing a piece that blends seamlessly. In this wonderful example by Designscape Architects, a new family garden room has been added to the side of the property. Here, you can see how the new room, despite its modern appearance, blends in with the existing home through the use of similar materials and colour palette. Given that it is mostly glass, this is a stunning, unobtrusive and modern addition to an already incredible family home.

Future use

The Vulcan Building:  Houses by GHK Architects
GHK Architects

The Vulcan Building

GHK Architects

Titled The Vulcan Building, this property was originally used by the navy as a warehouse space to store munitions. Capitalising on its stunning exterior facade, GHK Architects, in conjunction with Berkeley Homes, transformed this large, unused building into 28 luxury apartments. The Vulcan Building is located in the historic Gunwharf Quays site in Portsmouth, which is destined to be revived into a new, multi-use area. The architects were responsible for maintaining the external facade, as per Heritage Council requirements, whilst completely redrawing and re-envisioning the internal layout of this building to accommodate the brief.

We hope you have enjoyed this tour of some marvelous heritage and traditional facades. If your thinking of buying or renovating, be sure to contact our UK experts in the field of architecture and design for consultation and advice!

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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