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Coach house

Coach house is a retrofit and extension of a 19th Century coach house in Tunbridge Wells located within the Royal Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Conservation area. The proposal enhances the best features of the house by adding a contemporary extension to the North with the removal of an unsightly lean-to conservatory to the west. The glass break between the existing and house and new conservatory clearly delineates between new and old and allows the turned brick eaves detail to be retained. Existing PVC glazing and the 1970s external infill brickwork to the original coach doors have been removed and replaced with contemporary metal glazed screens.

The design concept is to extend the original 19th century brick coach house with a contrasting black charred timber barn. This references the existing Kentish rural barn structures on the site and adjacent parkland. The new West-facing wing envelops a new kitchen garden courtyard, with extensive views out across the parkland landscape. The new extension rebalances the orientation of the existing house out towards the Southwest parkland as it was originally built as a functional stable block that simply addressed the incoming track. The house has since developed into a significant family house within an area of unique significance within Tunbridge Wells that needs to be redesigned to address its siting in a positive and well-considered way.

The original barn was relocated by crane to a new position on the site adjacent to a new outside swimming pool, to create a home office and guest accommodation.

The driveway has been redesigned to minimise its visual impact yet creates adequate space for vehicle hardstanding, turning and accommodation in front of the house. A semi-sunken garage with a green roof allows secure parking whilst retaining the rural character of the parkland and accommodates the heat pumps for the main house, barn and pool.

The main entrance to the house addresses the hardstanding forecourt with adjacent planting to provide privacy screening to the lower courtyard beyond. The courtyard garden, enclosed on the north and west sides by the existing house and extension, extends around to the existing terrace on the west side of the house off which there are steps down to a new level lawn extending west and to the existing terrace garden along the north side of the house. A low stone retaining wall to match the existing adjacent west terrace runs along the south side of the courtyard garden as an edge to planting and the pool.

The main oak staircase is located at the connection between the original house and the new extension. The main bedroom, dressing room and bathroom suite is located at first floor in the extension. A full glazed link expresses the connection between the original house and new extension and allows the handsome Victorian brick detailing to be seen. Three further bedrooms and two bathrooms, one ensuite are located at first floor within the original house. The vaulted roofs above the existing coach house windows were opened up to express the historical form.

The barn was relocated to its new position by crane with all the main structural timber frame kept in place. The barn was then insulated on the exterior with new timber cladding to the outside to retain the timbers to be seen in the interior spaces.

view of the house from the entrance drive

original house with barn in previous position

perspective sketch

perspective sketch

view of new kitchen courtyard and extension

new entrance within new extension

view of south family room elevation

new extension with glazed link to original house

ground floor plan

first floor plan

aerial sketch

view south of the kitchen and family room

kitchen looking west

view north towards the larder and stair hall

larder shelving

new oak central staircase

staircase view towards cloakroom and boot room

oak pannelled cloakroom

stair up within extension from sitting room to entrance hall

view through dressing room glazed link to main bedroom

main bedroom

main bathroom


bedroom view through to ensuite bathroom

family bathroom

view of the house, garage and the original barn in its new location

site plan

barn in its new position with the pool

view out of the barn from the study

barn sitting room

barn interior

barn kitchen

outside shower

house at dusk

  • Main contractor

    Step 3 Construction - www.step3construction.co.uk

  • Landscape Designer

    Jo Thompson

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