The All New Drayton Manor.Published on 16th December 2013
Say ‘Drayton Manor’ to most people, and it is not a beautifully restored farmhouse that comes to mind. They will think of noise, crowds, the over excited faces of children, and possibly sticky fingers and the aroma of junk food. In short, there could be no impression more at odds with the reality of the latest project embarked upon by Apropos, and yet it goes by the name of Drayton Manor. That said, there is still something of the dramatic about the project.
Nestled in the heart of rural Northamptonshire sits an eighteenth century farm house. Resplendent with tall chimney stacks, a sculptural roofline, a dark timber frame and clean white render, the Drayton Manor farmhouse is almost picture postcard perfect… So perhaps not the sort of structure that one would automatically think could benefit from a modern extension.
The problem with period properties is that despite their obvious grandeur and attraction, they are often lacking in light. When Drayton Manor was constructed glass was expensive and thermally inefficient, meaning that windows were kept necessarily small and allocated parsimoniously. Despite the generously proportioned rooms, the Drayton project could appear dark and drear, even in the height of summer, and consequently this most magnificent of homes didn’t always get the appreciation that it deserved.
While adoring the character of the original property, which they have restored with all due care and attention to detail, the current owners of Drayton Manor decided that in order to gain the very best from their home they would need to tackle the lack of natural light. Rather than blight the property with an inappropriate pastiche, they decided to commission a bespoke glass extension from Apropos, which makes no pretensions about what it is trying to be.
Angled in form and unassuming from the outside, where the slate grey aluminium frame work contrasts agreeably with the original white render, there is something of the T.A.R.D.I.S about the Drayton Project’s Apropos extension; from the inside it appears huge!
The glazed curtain walling, augmented with a large sliding door to the front and wide folding-sliding doors to the side, don’t just allow light to flood into the ground floor of the house, but offer a magnificently framed view of the garden, which draws the eye beyond the confines of the structure and enhances the airy vibrancy of the space. A large, flat rooflight further improves the quality of light.
Solar Control glass and thermal break technology have been worked into the design of the Drayton Project’s extension, helping to keep the space at a constant, comfortable temperature, ensuring that it is suitable for use throughout the year.
Contrast can be figurative as well as literal. In this instance, the contrast between Drayton Manor and its Apropos glazed extension is obvious in terms of physical manifestation, but it also presents a contrast between the past and the present, resignation and the determination to change, and the differing qualities of life that can be gained from one property.
The owners of Drayton Manor are delighted with the new addition to their home, and who can blame them?
If you would like to order your free copy of Apropos’ 2013 brochure please click here or call us on 0161 342 8200. To book a complimentary design consultation with our highly regarded design team please click here.