The Engine House

The conversion and renovation of a Victorian engine house in the Suffolk countryside, as a weekend home for a graphic designer. A large open plan space is retained from the existing building by the addition of a substantial new extension incorporating new bedrooms, bathrooms and circulation, including stairs and access to the upper floor. A mezzanine bedroom has been inserted at one end of the original building with a sunken snug beneath, articulating the intersection between the old and new buildings. Stepping down from the reinstated Quarry tiles, the new concrete steps poetically articulate the transition to the new extension. Retaining the materiality “as found” whenever possible is contrasted with newer interventions that are clearly expressed.

The material palette is kept to a minimum; the inner leaf of the existing building is painted white brick to echo the found space, along with the reinstated tiled floor. The new build has concrete floors at ground level whilst the new services block is clad in english oak panelling, oak stairs and an oak floor on the upper level. All new openings are lined in oak as well as door and window frames.

A small brick terrace has been created to catch late afternoon and evening sun, also creating access steps back up to the garden level beyond.

The project has transformed the Engine House from being a sad and neglected derelict building back to a handsome and confident reassuring presence in the fabric of the local neighbourhood.

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