Alterations and Extension to Longstaff House, Hartford.

Graham Handley Architects

Alterations and Extension to Longstaff House, Hartford.

The project involved the demolition of a low-grade single storey utility room and the erection of a single storey link between the substantial original dwelling, built between 1830 and 1865 and a new Orangery built in 2009. The house isn’t listed but is within a conservation area.

The new external walls and roof are constructed using reclaimed bricks and natural slates to match the existing fabric. The approach has been to produce a modest extension to match the existing style and detail of the existing building.

The design of the extension follows the profile of the original pitched roof, but with a ridge beam as its principal structure, which allowed a vaulted space to be created, with the ceiling following the underside of the rafters, creating additional height and the installation of a pair of large Velux Integra roof windows.

This new space provides a large Dining Area, linking the kitchen within the original dwelling, with the Orangery, which looks out onto a mature garden containing large Cedar trees, beyond which is the river Great Ouse.

The original pyramidal roof of the Orangery was glazed, but this resulted in the space being too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Because of this, the roof was replaced with a natural slate finish, in the original form, and substantial insulation. The client still wished for a component of daylight for the space via the roof plane, and therefore two small Velux rooflights were introduced on opposite roof slopes, to provide sunlight at different times of the day.