Corner View House

Freehaus, Oxfordshire, 2021



All photographs Nicholas Worley     Download Original

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Corner View House reimagines an orthodox 1960s local authority house to deliver a contemporary family home in the Cotswolds, where ex-council properties are often overlooked and undervalued.

The project challenges these preconceptions, explores and unlocks the adaptive flexibility inherent within our rural post-war, social-housing stock, to champion the importance of retrofit.

Wrapping the property in a contemporary timber extension afforded an opportunity to upgrade the environmental resilience of the house through the application of Passivhaus fabric first principles and by using modern methods of construction. The design elevates and enriches the existing envelope, while remaining sensitive to the local conservation area and context of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

To accelerate the programme and ensure quality control, the extension was fabricated offsite using SIP technology. Working in collaboration with the engineer on a shared computer model, it was possible to fabricate the windows, doors and structural shell simultaneously while the foundations were poured on site, achieving water tightness within weeks.

Internally, the aspiration was to reconfigure the existing layouts to create a series of fun and adaptable family spaces, whilst accommodating private niches for home-working and respite.

The extension houses a large open-plan kitchen, living space and new informal entrance, visually connecting the communal areas with the adjacent fields. On the first floor, a new bedroom and bathroom were added. The bedroom features an oriel window that overlooks the biodiverse wildflower roof and valley below. The children’s bedroom is playful with a swing as the centrepiece, while the staircase features a slide.

The material selection is honest, tactile and crafted. The use of timber is integral, from natural and charred vertical larch timber cladding, to local bespoke oak joinery internally. The colour palette reflects the surrounding landscape, with calming and intimate tones framing the Cotswolds beyond.


  • Begun: Jul 2020
  • Completed: Aug 2021
  • Floor area: 130m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £280,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Mar 2020
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • CO2 Emissions: 45kg/m2/year
  • Address: Churchill, Oxfordshire, OX7, United Kingdom

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