Trebar was originally built for the Headmaster of the adjoining Dame Mary Deane Church of England Primary School. In the 1970s, the School was converted to residential use and the former Headmaster’s house was unsympathetically extended. When the property went up for sale in 2012, our clients fell in love with the garden and the view across to St Mary’s Church, but they felt that the house itself had unexploited potential. Entry to the house involved an unintuitive navigation to the rear of the property, and small windows on the south elevation did not take best advantage of the beautiful views.
The property’s prominent position within the Tamerton Foliot Conservation Area demanded an architectural treatment that respected the integrity of the original composition of the school. And within the garden, a Holm Oak tree, planted to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 60th anniversary in 1897, had to be carefully protected.
McCaren Architecture’s brief sought to exploit views and light to the full, whilst improving the entry to the building, and increasing the overall accommodation. Our proposals included the removal of the 1970’s extension and its replacement with a glazed and slate-hung link set back from the face of the original south-facing gable. The set-back and the dark materials of the new link made a clear visual break between the original building and the modern extension.
Within a two-storey extension at the side, and a single-storey extension at the rear, an extra bedroom, ensuite bathroom, enlarged kitchen, WC, and utility room were provided. Circulation between the old and new parts of the building was dramatically improved by the glazed link, and walls between the kitchen and dining rooms in the original building were opened up to improve the sense of space.
Entry to the house was reorganised, creating a new front door off the driveway which opened onto a new entrance hall. Stonework and brick dressings of the original west wall became a feature within this hallway, leading the eye towards the magnificent views now revealed through the glazed link to the south.