PRIVATE HOUSE: MAPLE HOUSE
The property is located on Bayshill Road, within the central Conservation Area of Cheltenham, and is Grade II Listed. It is a substantial Regency town house which has been in office use for several years, and as a result has had many incoherent alterations which have diminished the historic significance of the property.
The design brief was to convert the property back into a family home. The ground floor rooms will be returned to their original form with period features repaired and maintained where necessary after the removal of the fixtures and fittings associated with its office use. Two hallways will be provided, one for guests at the front of the property which again will remain largely unaltered, and one at the rear for family members entering the garden from Parabola Close. The kitchen and dining room will be located in the basement which has the benefit of preserving the elegance and proportion of the rooms above whilst allowing direct access from the kitchen to the rear garden. The main concern of locating the principal rooms into the lower floor of the house is the low ceiling heights and comparative lack of daylight. In order for these rooms to have a similar quality to those of the living spaces above we proposed a two storey rear extension which will be fully glazed facing the rear garden. The glazed extension will require the removal of the projecting bay windows from the rear range which add little to the buildings overall merit. Views to the original sash windows in the living room will be preserved through the new extension and the opening of the bay window will be partially retained to provide a balcony from the rear hallway. The upper floors of the property are given to family bedrooms and bathrooms and are arranged so that almost all historic fabric is retained, with existing openings used wherever possible.
The proposed extension will be clad in ashlar stone so that is has its own identity but with a clear historic link to the period when the property was first constructed and the glazed ‘wall’ facing the rear garden will have a slender minimal structure which is achieved by specifying a glazing system which uses the glass as the structure and not the frames which surround it.
The low level courtyard which adjoins the rear of the property will be the central activity area of the garden and is designed to accommodate space for dining and sitting for family and friends. The courtyard is similar in size to the current light well at the property and can be accessed through the utility room to ensure that it satisfies both practical and aesthetic needs. Also within the courtyard area will be a log store and also a bicycle store and workshop which will be hidden under the upper garden to reduce the quantity of built form and therefore increase the feeling of spaciousness around the garden. The two garden areas will be connected by a grand shallow pitched staircase which will create a strong visual link through the garden to the rear boundary wall.