All posts by HCA Studio

Hugh Cullum Architects Begins Work on Holy Trinity Richmond Masterplan

We have now begun work on an exciting project to secure the long-term future of the church and hall at Holy Trinity Richmond.

Our remit includes fabric upgrades and a servicing overhaul to the main church to achieve net zero, developing a masterplan for the entire site and to eventually construct a new mixed-use development to the west of the church, replacing the aging and poorly-constructed hall. Tied into these works are a programme of conservation and repair throughout the main church.

The current stage of work encompasses a feasibility study to compile a programme of proposed works and an associated estimated itemised cost. We are working with Greengauge as M&E consultants and Peter Gittins & Associates as quantity surveyors. Specialist roofing and stonework consultants have been engaged to advise on elements of fabric repair and upgrade.

The entrance to Holy Trinity Richmond church

Site Work Progresses at Fife Road

Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the ongoing labour and materials shortages, site work is progressing well at one of our residential projects in Sheen, ideally located along the northern border of Richmond Park.

The original house on site is semi-circular in plan, which we are extending along the same line in tandem with internal refurbishment and a separate basement contract.

The client has supported a bespoke and flexible approach to design, allowing us to work collaboratively with the contractor and client to address discoveries on site as design opportunities rather than obstacles. Each element of construction – from the geometry of the ceiling to the profile of exposed rafters – has been carefully considered and refined in a process of iteration between designer, contractor, and client.

This flexible approach has also allowed us to use a full range of media to explore design ideas, including physical and virtual model-making, sketches, measured drawings, site sketches and isometrics.

The main bulk of the construction work for the extension is now complete, with internal works progressing well.

Permission for New Arts and Crafts House in Dulwich Estate

We have received permission from the Dulwich Estate for a new Arts and Crafts style house in Southwark.

The scheme has been through a number of revisions to satisfy the competing demands of both the Dulwich Estate and Southwark Council, while still achieving the client’s brief. Permission for a similar scheme has already been implemented and we now await approval from the council for this updated design.

The house is designed in an Arts and Crafts style, echoing elements of traditional architecture found throughout the conservation area while remaining essentially modern in appearance and environmental performance.

The building is formed from a simple L-shape in plan, with one subservient ‘wing’ at the rear intersecting the principal building which spans the site from left to right. Two tiled roofs, each wrapped in terracotta tiles and with gablet ends, intersect at different heights causing an interesting play on traditional roof geometry. The new building is set back from the street behind tree and bush cover to reduce visual impact upon this architecturally sensitive area.

Nevertheless, despite the planning constraints the new house comprises five bedrooms and a large basement with a swimming pool, for a total of 535 square metres internal area. The house is designed to be a ‘lifetime home’ with level access and provision for living quarters on the ground floor. The design incorporates high standards of environmental performance, and includes solar panels, an air source heat pump, and rainwater attenuation and collection.

The new house in elevation
A section through the smaller wing to the rear of the site

A render of the proposed house earlier in the design process, showing materiality
While remaining traditional in form, we have been able to experiment with an interesting wrapped roof geometry

Permission for Deep Retrofit and Extension to Hampstead House

We have now received permission for a deep retrofit and extension to an interesting early c20 terraced house in Hampstead.

The house appears to be a typical Georgian terrace and is adjoined to two Grade II listed houses of similar appearance. The site is however not listed. Research undertaken by ourselves and heritage consultant Jon Lowe Heritage revealed the house to have been almost entirely rebuilt in the early twentieth century, explaining the lack of a listing.

We were able to use this to convince the local authority to permit a full replacement of doors and windows throughout with double-glazed timber equivalents, which is unusual in the Hampstead Conservation Area. We are also proposing full internal wall insulation, solar panels, a combined air and ground source heat pump, and a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system throughout. Heating is provided by underfloor heating and active cooling by cooled ceilings. The refurbishment is expected to achieve or come close to achieving EnerPhit standards, and does not rely upon gas for heating or hot water.

Surprisingly, much of the proposed works were found to fall within the government’s extensive permitted development rights, meaning we did not need to apply for permission for much of the energy efficiency works.

To the rear we have also received permission for a fully-glazed extension and ground floor terrace, increasing the area of the house and quality of the internal spaces significantly.

Design work continues while construction work is already progressing swiftly.

The site is extraordinarily long and spreads along many different levels.
All windows and doors are to be replaced up to modern standards, while enhancing the appearance of the building and conservation area.
Work on this interesting site is already underway
The view from the rear of the site

Consent Granted for ‘Modern Barn’ Extension to Listed Farmhouse

We have received listed building consent and planning permission for a revised extension to a Grade II listed farmhouse in Aldermaston, Reading.

We initially received consent for a similar scheme in 2019, but following several design iterations application for a new consent became necessary. The revised scheme includes an exposed timber post truss structure internally, with a glazed gable elevation looking out upon the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We were able to negotiate an increase in volume, height, and glazing with West Berkshire Council to maximise the design quality and investment return for our client.

The house itself is a charming traditional timber frame farmhouse with a large plot of land and several smaller outbuildings within its curtilage. We are also in the process of converting one of these buildings into a small residential unit, and involved in the construction of a new stable yard on the site.

The existing building, while of high architectural and historic value, has very poor thermal performance and low levels of light and tight, cramped spaces. Our extension, which is comprised of two distinct ‘wings’, provides a relief from these smaller spaces and a far higher standard of environmental performance. The intention is that the large ‘barn’ space is bridged to the original house by an intermediary, semi-historical extension which was carefully negotiated in terms of heights and style with the planning authority, aided by our heritage consultant Jon Lowe Heritage.

This is an exciting project for the practice and we look forward to beginning work on site some time in 2024.

The rear elevation of the farmhouse on site
A 1:20 model showing the internal truss structure to the ‘barn’.
A model showing the eaves detail. The intention is for the underside of the tiles and timber sprockets to be visible from below.
A 1:100 model of the site with the stepped extensions to the main farmhouse
Rear elevation of the propose scheme.
Front elevation of the proposed scheme. The ridge and floor heights carefully step down to maintain subservience to the main house.
A long section through the site showing the complexity in roof geometry and floor levels.

Permission for Rooftop Terrace in Bloomsbury

We have received planning permission for a new rooftop terrace in the heart of the Bloomsbury Conservation Area.

The site is a terraced, non-listed building with a flat-roof closet wing to the rear. While carrying significant potential for overlooking, we were able to carefully convince the local planning authority that our design – a timber terrace atop the flat roof at rear – minimised overlooking while providing important outdoor space for a maisonette with no garden or balconies.

Access is provided through a staircase enclosed in the style of a dormer window, arising from a traditional butterfly roof. A set-back from the parapet is provided by permanent timber-cladded planters. The terrace space itself appears as a wrapped timber ‘boat’ set within materials of wholly traditional construction, to meet the client’s brief for a modern and natural space while externally maintaining the important appearance of the Bloomsbury Conservation Area.

Unusually, we rejected the informal pre-application advice proffered by the planning officers to apply for a terrace atop the butterfly roof at the front, and instead favoured building at the rear where we thought overlooking and heritage impact would be further minimised. We cited a number of terraces already extant in the area which had followed this methodology over the past twenty years. This approach was then favoured by the planners and subsequently approved with minimal delay, proving the value of local knowledge and experience in designing within a specific conservation area.

The view from the flat roof at rear
A currently underutilised and poorly maintained space is set to become a much-needed garden in what is an increasingly developed area
The terrace is situated at the rear, with access provided through a pitched, lead-roofed stair tower.
From within the terrace the appearance is that of a natural, garden space, while the traditional appearance of the conservation area is maintained from neighbouring properties, many of which are listed.

Listed Building Consent for Eton Villas Refurb and Extension

Sketch view of the extension at Eton Villas

We have received listed building consent for a comprehensive refurbishment and extension to a Grade II listed house on Eton Villas.

Little of historic interest remains internally, which has allowed for a contemporary refurbishment and reconfiguration of the spaces to suit the occupant while remaining sensitive to the surviving historic features in the principal rooms. Lowering the lower ground floor has also allowed for underfloor heating, improved thermal performance, and flush access to the outside.

To the rear we have designed a minimal, glazed extension to provide greater permeability between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Working with Jonathan Bell Studios, the garden is also to be substantially reconfigured including water features, natural stone surfacing, and substantial planting.

To the lower ground floor we have also secured permission for unification into a larger, open-plan space with combined kitchen and living area. The project has also allowed for a number of incidental improvements and restorations to architecturally significant external features, such as windows, cantilevered balconies, and railings.

The key issue in these projects remains the play-off between the very sensitive heritage constraints of the site, and the aspiration of the client to achieve modern standards in environmental performance, layout, and design. As with similar projects in this area, we have been largely successful in achieving the brief while satisfying the planning authority’s conservation requirements.

The project is already out to tender, with an expected start date in the middle of 2022.

Sketch view of extension to house at Eton Villas, St John's Wood.
Sketch view of the proposed rear elevation.
Rear elevation planning proposals for Eton Villas.
Rear elevation planning drawing.

Hugh has been Awarded the Lancelot Andrewes Medal

Hugh with the Bishop of Southwark and the Lancelot Andrewes Medal

Hugh has been awarded the Lancelot Andrewes medal by the Bishop of Southwark.

The medal was given in recognition of the contribution made by the practice’s new courtyard and community centre at St. Michael’s Barnes and the extension at St. Peter’s Petersham, two churches in the Diocese of Southwark.

The medal was bestowed at one of the final services at St. Peter’s by the retiring vicar, the Reverend Canon Tim Marwood, who has been the driving force behind the building of the extension and the repair and restoration of the church itself.