Oxford architects: Design Storey Architects

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About Design Storey Architects

This Oxford design studio provides architectural services along with interior and landscape design all under one roof. Founded 10 years ago with a vision to create well-crafted buildings in harmony with their surroundings, Design Storey specialises in high-end homes, heritage and lifestyle projects.

A central aim of this Oxford architects’ practice is to design beautiful buildings by repurposing old buildings or creating new ones. This small team is used to working with sensitive sites such as those within conservation areas, and building types ranging from listed buildings to eco homes and new builds for both private and commercial clients. The architects have designed buildings in London and Vancouver and provide a high level of personal service, with directors involved in projects from start to finish.

Let’s take a closer look at one of their stunning projects:

The Cotswolds Coach House is a curtilage-listed building located in a walled garden in the centre of the Chipping Campden Conservation Area in the Cotswolds. The original building, which was formerly the coach house for a Grade II listed house, had been split from the main house and converted into separate accommodation in the 1980s.

The initial conversion and subsequent alterations, including an extension and the addition of dormer windows, were at odds with the building’s industrial past. This context was very sensitive, and the scale of the existing cottage meant that any intervention would have a significant impact on the existing building. 

Obtaining planning permission

Initial conversations with the conservation officer focused on the hidden nature of the house and the fact that the main elevation faced the High Street, with the front door being located on the rear elevation. Other key arguments related to the previous structures that had been located on the site, illustrating that development to the rear of the building had happened organically over the years.

Finally, the architects had to prove that any extension was necessary. The conservation officer supported their approach in principle, and following a discussion about the external material palette, planning and listed building consent were granted.

Creative director Lydia Robinson RIBA said:

This is one of our most memorable projects to date, and although it is small, it was complex and challenging. We were keen for a limited material palette to be used for the additions which would comprise of glazing, zinc and grey handmade bricks. This would provide a clear delineation from, yet be harmonious with, the vernacular materials of the existing building – such that these additions could be clearly read as a new phase in the history of the coach house. 

The owners are delighted with how the new additions have transformed their use of the building as well as creating spaces that are light and connect seamlessly with the beauty of the surrounding walled garden.

What we love about this Oxford architects’ practice

The sensitive approach to older and heritage buildings shines through this practice’s work. We also like the fact that a client can get architectural expertise, interior design advice and landscaping know-how all under one roof.

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