Countless layers of cement hid important clues as to the dating and architectural importance of this property. Built in two stages, the ground floor dates back to the seventeenth century whereas the first floor must have been added onto the property around two hundred years later. The design aims at reinstating the original configuration of the dwelling whilst ensuring that the house can still fully satisfy the exigencies of a modern household.
The property formed part of a larger house which was, in the mid-1900s divided to form two separate dwellings. The alterations which took place during this period resulted in a number of structural issues which, for the larger part, were hidden behind layers of cement render, both on the facade and on the interior walls. A stone spiral staircase which led from the ground floor up to the roof was cut short and supported over rubble. The stabilisation of this staircase was one of the major structural interventions which required skill and ingenuity to ensure that the balance between the interlocking steps was not compromised.
During the reconfiguration of the house a number of steel beams were introduced as auxiliary supports to the larger stone slabs. Any excessive loading, due to the superimposition of various finish layers, was removed and such supports successfully made redundant. The original structural load paths were thus reinstated and the whole structure rendered far more stable.
The typical spatial layout with a central courtyard and external main staircase was also reinstated. A glass and steel structure was designed so as to include an original dining space, blending the interior with the exterior harmoniously. The early morning light filters into the space brightening up the house while at night, a star lit sky reflects in the glass dining table creating a magical atmosphere.
Contemporary design merged into the reinstatement of historical value renders this property unique in its own merit; a space created to serve today’s needs by exalting yesterday’s designs.