Howel Evans and Opher, , 2018


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The Telfords use Middleholms in Langholm as a peaceful retreat and a place to entertain groups of friends during the wonderful annual festival of the Common Riding.

Middleholms is also available to rent as a holiday let. Nestled on the side of the hill a mile from town, it commands stunning views over the surrounding countryside. The original buildings form three sides of a courtyard to the rear. Previously glazed over with an unattractive and poorly built conservatory, all the living spaces connect through this dining area. It is the most pivotal and heavily used space in the house and was the least satisfactory.

We were asked to advise on rebuilding and improving comfort while retaining high levels of daylight and views of the garden.

The initial scheme had number of small rooflights to illuminate the space depending on the function below and to ensure borrowed light to the surrounding rooms. A large central rooflight was eventually settled on with a smaller opening one for ventilation and to light the rather dark study beyond. The rest of the roof is highly insulated and with new heating the room is now usable all year round.

Each of the surrounding rooms has a different relationship with the dining space and the treatments of these interconnections provides the appropriate level of privacy or otherwise.

The new building sits very comfortably within the existing and has become very much the new heart of the house. It gives the sense that it has always been there. This is not architecture to shout about but quiet, modest and appropriate.


  • Begun: Mar 2018
  • Completed: Jun 2018
  • Floor area: 26m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £60,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jan 2018
  • Procurement: self build

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