Smelt House

Private Residence, Shropshire

We were approached by the owners of this property to add an extension to create a larger kitchen. The property had been remodeled at least once before during the ownership of the present owner's grandfather. Unfortunately the 1950’s aspirations in regard to a kitchen and how it should interact with the rest of the dwelling and how it could be used by a family have altered beyond recognition, leaving the present owner trapped in a 1950’s view of how a kitchen, a home and a family should behave.

The building was originally a cottage that ‘faced' fields to the front. The building's problems emanate from the accepted idea that the front elevation of a building should contain the main entrance to the property. When the Grandfather set about remodeling the family home this idea was ingrained in the redesign. Unfortunately during the redesign and subsequent landscaping and vehicular access requirements the front unwittingly became the ‘rear’ (or completely abandoned as an entrance). Through an entrance hallway the ‘front’ door provided excellent access to the ‘parlour’ and dining room. Unfortunately the ‘rear’ entrance used on a day to day basis was now via a ‘veranda’ into the kitchen and on into the living room.

The 1950’s remodeling completely obliterated any trace of the original cottage. We aimed not to repeat this mistake. Our design keeping the identity of the existing building whilst breaking up the monotony of the existing building with the extension. Towards this softening of the original we introduced a new material to break up the large unrelenting expanses of render.