Norman-Prahm architects , Cumbria, 2019


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The renovation and extension of a traditional Cumbrian long house in the foot hills of the Pennines and an Area of Natural Beauty

The building has been enhanced to create an energy efficient family home with a dynamic set of spaces that make the most of the original structure and its setting. Where possible the buildings fabric has been upgraded thermally, enabling the use of a low temperature air source heat pump to supply the heating and hot water.

A new gable extension, built using stone sourced from the same Pennine quarry as the original building, bonds with the landscape. Over time the fresh building stone will weather and unify with the surrounding dry stone walls. The gable extension acts as a gate house, greeting you as you enter the yard. A generously wide and vaulted hallway is defined between the volume of the gate house and the original building. Entering offers an axis of two views, one straight through to the garden, the other down the entire length of the house, drawing you in.

The previous extension to the rear is adapted, adding a new bay window, framing views of the garden and beyond as far as Scotland. A new roof is formed with untreated zinc, a material that will both weather and last like the stone, helping the cottage to further embed itself in its location for the duration. Internally the house has been opened up to make the most of the original buildings volume and to share as much light from the facades original openings.

Within this a family of joinery elements are introduced to create rooms within rooms, framing spaces and moments, that can achieve intimacy and focus while still allowing one to feel expanded and connected to the rest of the house.

Photography by Johnny Barrington


  • Begun: Sep 2014
  • Completed: Feb 2019
  • Floor area: 99m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £216,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jul 2014
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works 2011
  • Address: Hallbankgate, Cumbria, CA8, United Kingdom

Professional Team