the old coach house

project code: pfh_21_019   design: 2021   budget: £180 – £230k

“After retiring from our expat life in Monaco and returning to the uk, we wanted to create our forever home and wanted a space to reconnect with old friends, ideally in a space that blends into our walled garden and over looks the existing pond.”


The Old Coach House, it is what it says on the tin. A former Coach House once used to store a horse drawn cart and its horses. This particular Coach House was built as an outbuilding to a larger dwelling now split into two cottages that overlook the village green and the still working maypole. 

Darren and Sam purchased their house in the aims of it being their forever home, a place to retire in and to enjoy. They loved its location, but even more so the garden. Their existing garden room was sinking and it had gotten to the point the door was hard to open but even harder to shut again. They needed a new one, but wanted it to be a room for them to enjoy together in the rainier months, but to also accommodate entertaining friends in the summer, opening out on to the garden merging inside and out as one fluid space. The need to replace this loved room was an opportunity to create a multifunctional space that could be used as a cosy room for two in the winter or a summer house for many, all in one.

The site is located within a small Conservation Area for its historic merit as the village was self made by ‘peasants’ who were bought-out of nearby Ruffed by monks in 1145. They built the village as a fortified settlement using the river as a natural defence on one side and on the others they formed earth banks. The village is said to be the only village created with a green, as opposed to a market place, this green is intact today and only a chapel was permitted to build on it.

The site’s garden is a walled area with green open space and a detached house, we dragged parallels to the clients home and garden being reflective of the village’s setup and how their garden represented the green and their home was their chapel, their place of freedom and reflection. Drawing a similarity between the site arrangement and the village as a whole helped in our understanding of the Conservation Area and guided our conversations with local planners and heritage officers.