Welling Up – Making a Berkshire Bungalow Feel Beautiful Again.Published on 22nd November 2013
Architecture is all about striking a balance, making something beautiful out of the most functional of spaces. But beautiful needn’t necessarily be grandiose; there is an elegance in subtlety, and that is very much in play in the Wells Project.
The owners of the Wells Project, a couple with a love of gardening, had been happy with their redbrick bungalow, but had always felt the need for some extra space. A conservatory had tempted them for many years, seeming like the perfect solution for increasing the footprint of their home while maximising the appeal of their garden, making the ideal room in which to relax and while away lazy weekends and cosy star-lit evenings. But, they wanted more than the formulaic blueprints that UPVC could offer.
Searching for a design that would both enhance their home and their lifestyle without imposing upon their property, our couple opted for a bespoke orangery style glass extension from Apropos. They wanted a structure that would look like it had always been there, but feel like an innovation, with none of the draughts and temperature fluctuations associated with traditional conservatories.
The structure, rendered in matched red brick and complementary slate black aluminium, curls around two sides of the house, delivering a form of architectural hug, and a room that can be adapted for any purpose. A glazed roof and large, curving windows ensure that the space is drenched with natural light, while the use of Aprofold doors, which fold and slide to one side to reveal a triple-spaced aperture, means that the much-loved garden is always within easy reach.
Such an expanse of glass might be off-putting for some people – think of all that cleaning! – but the Wells Project incorporates the latest in glazing technology, meaning that the Pilkington Active Blue doors, roof, windows and walls clean themselves, as well as being coated for increased thermal efficiency. The addition of automatic ventilation also ensures that the room maintains a comfortable temperature all year round, no matter what the weather throws at it.
This combination of classic design and contemporary materials has made for a warm and comfortable space with a light and airy feeling. It is not a build that pretentiously shouts ‘look at me, look at me!’ – rather it smiles pleasantly and invites you in for a cup of tea; you just know that the kettle here is always on.
The owners of the Wells Project were looking for a structure which would enhance the way in which they used their home. They now spend most of their time in their new Apropos glass extension, but it’s not just given them an additional sitting room with a view; rather a flowing space that brings indoors and outdoors together, allows natural light to penetrate into the heart of their home, while giving the old building a subtle, but effective face-lift.
If architecture is all about the combination of form and function, the Wells Project is an example par excellence.
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