The Bellum

Jack Jarrett Architects

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Built in 1821, 'The Bellum' was described as a Tyning (a West of England expression for a farming cooperative).

Historic maps showed that the terrace was divided into a greater number of dwellings than today, before having been knocked together in more recent years and the narrow gardens plots merged. This precedent helped inform our design with Matthew Clay Architects, consolidating and modernising two properties and creating a carefully considered addition along the terrace grain. This approach rationalised and enhanced the existing accommodation to provide an increase in both the functional usage and experiential qualities of the buildings, as befitting the generous garden space.

References to the materiality of the original property tie the new build with the surrounding built environment, with rough coursed Cotswold stone walls and slate roofs. The scheme responds to the original property by paying particular attention to the differing qualities of the northern and southern conditions of the existing terrace.

Narrow slot windows provide glimpsed views of the newly planted woodlands to the north, as well as light and ventilation to the ground floor. Full height glazing with oiled hardwood frames provide views of the mature gardens outside, and the client's extensive library collection inside; an extended overhang provides solar shading to the elevation and garden room interior. Perforations to the roofscape provide light and views from the first floor accommodation, predominantly to the south.

The new garden room extension to the south serves as the social, and architectural anchor to the scheme. The angled extension orientated carefully within the mature gardens provides the owner with enhanced accommodation while forming a dialogue between the external and internal spaces via the opening glazed doors.

The works have led to a significant improvement upon the building’s thermal performance. The insulation within the entire structural envelope has lowered the U-values, and combined with a thermally efficient and air tight construction, levels of CO2 and running costs have been drastically reduced.


Client: Private domestic

Location: Marshfield

Design Team: Matthew Clay Architects, Jack Jarrett Architects, Morcom Design Workshop

Contractors: Wraxall Builders, Westside Design Bath Limited

Status: Completed (2015)

Photography: Adam Carter Photography