Forge House is a two-storey property featuring a half-timbered front facade, situated on a prominent corner in the Storrington Conservation Area. The house had undergone many uses over its history; as a 'cramming' college for future military officers before finally being split up during the last century to comprise a first floor flat above a doctor's surgery.
The Clients' brief was to reinstate Forge House as a family home with any design interventions to be positive and respectful to the existing building fabric. Elements of the original structure have been exposed and/or restored whenever discovered. A sensitive and honest architectural approach was required which offered a lifeline to the existing building whilst subtly celebrating its existing features. Additionally, the design was required to be environmentally aware and responsible, utilising 'new' technologies wherever possible and appropriate. The house was internally insulated throughout, with special care taken to ensure breathability through the existing lime-based wall construction, new timber framed windows were fitted, and underfloor heating installed.
A key design concept was to provide clear circulation from the front entrance to the rear garden and up through the house. Within the entrance hall, an existing mezzanine level was removed to create a galleried staircase, whilst the discovery of an existing 17th century timber frame forming the surround for new glazed doors at ground floor which provide a visual axis through the property and out to the rear garden. Modern family lifestyle has been reflected in the open plan kitchen and dining space, whilst original primary rooms have been reinstated throughout. Externally, the south elevation saw extensive stonework repairs, alongside an extension in matching brick to the rear, and refurbishment to the timber and rendered front facade.