Guildford Lodge

Paul Archer Design, Surrey, 2017


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The addition of a curved extension to compliment a Grade II gatehouse by Lord Lovelace.

Guildford Lodge was built around 1860 by Lord of Lovelace, as the gatehouse for his house, Horsley towers. Over the years it has been amended substantially to suit new uses as its purpose as a gatehouse became obsolete. The building is Grade II listed and is now solely used as a family home.

The building's unusual form, straddling a large archway, with a series of small rooms connected by a narrow spiral stair, made it difficult to inhabit for parents of two young children. Our starting point was to see if there was a way of adding space to the upper floors for additional bedrooms, which would in turn free up space at ground level for living space.

With a building of such striking character the aim was to create an extension that belonged to the original building, yet also has something of our time about it. We matched the existing palette of flint and red brick as closely as possible and worked with a local contractor experienced in working on many Lovelace buildings in the village.

All but the external walls of the ground floor were removed, and a new semi-circular steel frame inserted within them. On top of the steel frame, a sweeping knapped flint facing with red brick dressings is tied to a blockwork outer leaf. This conceals a conventional insulated timber frame behind to reduce weight and improve thermal performance.

The semi-circle in plan of the upper floor compliments the circular towers of the original gatehouse, and is offset from the lower floor to create a protected area for external dining. Internally, the curve of the upper floor is reflected in the ground floor ceiling, and the dining space is formed of a complimentary semi circle. All in all, five large curves play off each other in three dimensions.

The project was an opportunity to put right some of the neglect that the building had suffered and to conserve the original external features that had been enclosed in earlier alterations. A balance between the use of local materials to echo the historic detailing in balance with modern methods of construction has created a building fit for modern day living standards.


  • Begun: Feb 2015
  • Completed: Jun 2017
  • Floor area: 165m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £200,000
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works with Contractors Design Portion 2011/Traditional
  • Address: Guildford Lodge , Oakham Road, East Horsley, Surrey, KT24 6RL, United Kingdom

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