Family Room at Coed y Brain

Paterson Macaulay & Owens Architects

Family Room at Coed y Brain
Coed y Brain, Lixwm, Flintshire

The client approached the practice based on our previous works on conservation and listed properties. At the same time, they were keen to have a design-led approach that would not result in a bog-standard, run-of-the-mill extension! Their requirements were for the creation of a larger kitchen and dining space that could also act as a family hub.

Coed Y Brain is a Grade II Listed Georgian country house, however the small kitchen and formal room layout are not conducive to modern day living, so we proposed to open up the enclosed kitchen by knocking through the external wall and linking it to a new structure that was appropriate to the scale of the main house. Together with the client and feedback from the conservation officer and Cadw, we went through a number of iterations, until finally agreeing on a single 5m high apex space that opens off the existing kitchen to provide an open plan dining and family room.

To soften the scale of the internal space, we designed a barrel vault at high level to create a gentle curve to the ceiling and clad it in warm American Ash boarding. As one enters the kitchen, your eyes are drawn to the feature ceiling which is interspersed regularly with large Velux GGL roof lights. To complete the look, the timber boarding follows the reveals of the roof light openings to create a neat detail. The gable end wall acts as a focal with a centrally placed multi fuel stove and built-in shelving either side.

The scale of the space could have easily created a cold, oversized room, but with the barrel vault, the timber cladding, oversized pendant light fittings and the roof lights to break-up the long ceiling, an airy, light-filled but welcoming family hub has been achieved.