Angel Architecture worked closely with the Client and Chris Gibbons, Conservation Builder to achieve a very traditional appearance to the first floor of this Grade II listed building. Formerly concealed behind cement render this clunch and flint elevation was carefully uncovered together with the lath and plaster to the rear of a gentrified staircase which projected into the masonry, repointed, rendered and limewashed using Rose of Jericho analysis and mixes. The only difficulty was overcoming the vertical positioning of the new windows to the master bedroom and family bathroom since the external masonry wall extended well above ceiling level into the roof space.
This month we are starting work on a new care facility in the grounds of a residential home Grade II listed Highfield House in Castle Cary Conservation Area. Nick Jackson, arboriculturist, is carrying out a tree survey and we are designing a freestanding building in the garden to provide respite care for 3 resident and an alternative option from the main house which currently accommodates 22 residents. The design take its cues from the range of workshops and offices which occur in Pithers Yard on the other side of the brick boundary wall and these provide a precedent for a single storey building of traditional design with a double Roman clay tile roof.
It’s been a steep learning curve. Nine months after buying my rather dilapidated Grade 2 listed cottage, I was no closer to gaining the consents I needed to carry out the necessary works, the application wasn’t even really what I wanted (or needed), I had the prospect of an enforcement order hanging over me and I was tired of constantly pushing my agent to try and keep things moving. A neighbour recommended Kim and, following an initial rather intense exchange of phone calls and e-mails, I felt confident that she had the knowledge, drive and focus to get my project back on course.
It was a completely different experience. Communication was excellent with a consistently fast response time. The application needed a complete overhaul and, this time, my requirements and ideas were taken on board. The advice I received was much clearer and more direct and I soon came to trust her opinion on deciding which proposals were realistic and achievable and which should be shelved. Her experience was absolutely invaluable in navigating the convoluted and often incomprehensible system of listed building and planning consents and her ongoing dialogue with the Council officers was remarkably productive. Crucially, she was adept at determining when to hold her ground and when to seek compromise. Needles to say, six months on I have the consents I need and work is about to begin.
July will be another busy month for us – with new appointments for North Cadbury Neighbourhood Plan, two listed buildings, one in Bridport, the other in Upottery, a project in each of the three counties in which we operate. The most interesting development is that RIBA Part I student Helena Jenkinson is joining us as a summer intern from the University of the West of England. She is going to have hands-on experience of how we work, seeing designs evolve and repairs being implemented on site.
It is such a privilege to be selected for the summer internship with Angel Architecture. I am really looking forward to working alongside Kim and experiencing all aspects of her specialist business.
As Conservation has been such a strong interest of mine, this opportunity is invaluable and I am very eager to learn about the life of an architect from Kim first-hand. I cannot wait for the internship to begin and to join the team for the summer.
I’ve written a piece with Lloyd & White listing five tips for maintenance of your listed heritage home this season. You can read the article here.