Croft Lodge Studio

Kate Darby and David Connor, Leominster, 2016


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  • from the common    
  • from the west    
  • from the north    
  •  from the east    
  • from the east    
  •  from the east    
  •  main studio space     
  • main studio space 2    
  • hall    
  • hall/ meeting/ eating area    
  • hall upper level    
  • finished wall detail    
  • birds nest and new electics    
  • kitchen    
  • living area and sleeping area    
  •  widows old and new    
  • sleeping area    
  • living area    
  • existing rags and new door    
  •  living room with dead ivy    
  • dead ivy and david    
  • existing building     
  • in constuction    

The preservation of a 17th Century Cottage, and the creation of a new studio in Herefordshire

The existing listed ruined cottage is adjacent to a common, to the east end of the cottage there were stables but these have fallen down and were beyond repair. The strategy was not to renovate or repair the 300 year old structures but to preserve them within a new high performance outer envelope. This means that there is often two roofs and two walls, an old one and a new one. Everything about the ruin is retained including the ivy, the birds nests, old fabric, the cobwebs and the dust.

The new shell is made with a steel frame infilled with timber and the voids are filled with insulation. Skylights are triple glazed and windows are double glazed, where there is an old window, a new one is fitted on the outside. The new structure is then clad externally with black corrugated iron - an agricultural material used extensively in the area.

The supper insulated structure is heated by two log burning stoves, electricity is provided by an array of photovoltaic panels, and under the south facing metal roof runs 100m of black pipe to act as a solar collector for hot water in the summer months.

The building is currently laid out as a design studio with a store, kitchen, sleeping area and a living room. However, the building has also been designed to become a three-bedroom house with minimal alterations.


  • Begun: Jan 2014
  • Completed: Dec 2016
  • Floor area: 115m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £160,000
  • Procurement: self build
  • Address: croft lodge studios, bircher common, Leominster, HR6 0BN, United Kingdom

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