Our clients needed an architect in East Devon to provide them with a Full Architectural Service for their kitchen extension to a Grade II* listed thatched house in East Devon..
van Ellen + Sheryn were approached by the owners of a Grade II* listed house in East Devon, with the wish to improve and extend their home into the substantial garden setting. The existing kitchen provision was cramped; with low ceilings, poor layout, and no connection to the views out towards the Blackdown hills. The house is historically important in the local area, with areas of thirteenth century timber structure in the roof. However, it had been unsympathetically adapted and extended on the garden elevation in the past, and the owners wished to remove these additions and create something new and unique whilst respecting the heritage and quality of the existing thatch and stone house.
We soon arrived at the solution of a twisting thatch roof that extends out into the garden and rises up at one corner to provide volume and clear views out to the garden and countryside. An oak truss structure, cleverly engineered, would cantilever and ‘hang’ the roof over a corner of structural glass and slimline glazing – combining very modern techniques and materials with the very traditional forms of thatch and timber frame. Chert (local flint) stone walls would extend out from the house and provide a buttress to this roof form, and a further material reference back to the original house.
Whilst this is yet to be realised, we feel it a design of unique quality and character, and hope to explore a similar approach if the opportunity were to arise again.
We have commissioned van Ellen & Sheryn to design a new purpose built cookery school building in Ashburton which was opened in 2010 along with subsequent extensions to the building in more recent years.
As a customer facing business we welcome thousands of people from around the world to spend large amounts of time (up to 6 months) within our building, so it is imperative that it is welcoming and attractive from the outside and a light and enjoyable space to work in.
van Ellen & Sheryn showed an excellent understanding of the brief and gave us multiple, well-visualised concepts to help us focus towards a finished concept and plans.
We are sited within Dartmoor Park conservation area which brings with it special considerations of materials and design, and much time was saved by having architects experienced of working within these parameters. There were no issues gaining planning permission.
The finished build is exactly as visualised and designed by the architects – an outstanding building to look at and work in that makes the most of the site within which it sits and is a delight to work in.
Several years later the business needed to expand and we commissioned van Ellen & Sheryn for the extensions. This was a tricky brief, adding on two new dining rooms to the existing facade and had the potential of spoiling the strength of the original design. Their design has actually strengthened the impact of the facade of the building which is quite an achievement.
I would recommend van Ellen & Sheryn architects for projects of all sizes. They are a modern architect studio, small enough to care about all their projects, but experienced enough to cope with projects of all sizes. I feel they offer extremely good value. The work they have executed for us is contemporary yet looks better as time moves on – the sign of a great architect.