School House

The Clients sought to rework their historic home, which is set amongst a tiny village and church, and replace their dilapidated extension with a new, contemporary design to take full advantage of the sublime surroundings and views, creating a more intimate integration between the indoor and outdoor spaces for them to enjoy.

Our initial vision was to create something that strongly contrasted, yet complemented, the historic fabric of the main house, crafting a journey that culminates in panoramic views of the countryside. We curated a playful narrative of denial and reward with the views, starting from the main entrance, the viewpoints unfold and evolve with windows and openings angled and positioned to provide snapshots without giving away the full satisfaction and beauty of the unobstructed landscape until one enters the extension space itself.

The drama and excitement of entering the new space are enhanced via the use of a historic archway, reopened and lined in oak, this creates a dynamic entrance into the light, open-plan volume from the darkened corridor. Wonderful contrast between light and dark plays out throughout the whole scheme, most notably in its porcelain cladding, punctuated by sharp, copper downpipes, which are set against the neutral tones of the original dwelling and its masonry details.

The porcelain cladding is set out in strips that have been carefully designed and proportioned to a rhythm of four different widths ranging from 150 to 432mm. These take inspiration from a variety of proportional inspirations found within the historic dwelling and have been set out to neatly abut the proposed openings with as little waste as possible. The one leftover [contingency] panel was left uncut and repurposed as a bespoke tabletop.

The extension houses the new kitchen and dining spaces, freeing up space within the main house to provide additional bathroom and utility rooms that add functionality for the Clients. The design includes an angled pop-out that serves as a reading nook whilst providing unrivaled views of the surrounding countryside. This angled element also aligns with the slit windows to provide snapshot views of the landscape beyond as one is moving through the host dwelling.


The large [2.6m high] sliding doors peel back to open the space out into the landscape, bringing in light, sound, interest, and integration with its fantastic surroundings. Limestone terracing is angled to create clean, subtle lines that accentuate the form of the extension and contrast the darkened cladding, while humble landscaping extends out behind sedum-topped gabion walls to provide private seating areas and a small allotment area.


On an evening, the finish to the porcelain cladding catches the setting sun and transforms into a deep, rich copper color that drastically changes the atmosphere of the design, allowing it to settle and serve as a calming, enjoyable space to inhabit while watching the world go by.

  • Architects: Challinor Hitchcock-Yoo
  • Area : 165
  • Year : 2022
  • Photographs :Adam Carter
  • Manufacturers :  Dalply, ID Systems
  • Lead Architect : Carl Challinor
  • Main ContractorBowler Construction Ltd
  • Structural Engineer TeamClarke Nicholls Marcel