The 18th century residence in the Cambridgeshire countryside has been redefined as an L shape, improving spatial flow and the home’s connection to nature

London-based architect Studio McW has completed the first phase of the renovation of Follyfield, an 18th century stone residence located in Cambridgeshire, UK.

The first phase included the addition of three gabled extensions in varying scales which responded to the proportions of the existing property, blending contemporary architecture with the hamlet’s rural vernacular.

Built from clay bricks to complement the existing stone, the largest extension is connected to the main house by a zinc-clad gabled kitchen and living space.

The third addition is a new garage built from reclaimed stone and pale timber.

Located in a conservation area near Peterborough, Follyfield has been restored for a young family who relocated from London in early 2019.

The brief was to update the traditional home with a modern, cosmopolitan sensibility to celebrate the clients’ city connection and local ties.

Follyfield features five bedrooms, four en suites, a family bathroom, a living room, two utility rooms, playroom, kitchen with a snug area, reception room, boot room and a double garage. With so much space to organise, the design team refocused the heart of the home in the new 30 sq m extension.

Built from clay bricks to complement the existing stone, the largest extension is connected to the main house by a zinc-clad gabled kitchen and living space.

The open plan kitchen, living and dining area feature a large concrete kitchen island cast in-situ, offset by black cabinetry, herringbone oak parquet flooring and a vaulted ceiling of exposed rafters overhead.

Full height matte black timber doors conceal a utility room and staircase up to a new guest suite which sits atop the new extension. The new garage also includes a self-contained guest suite complete with a kitchen and bathroom.

The extension redefines the floor plan of the house as an L-shape, improving the spatial flow and connection to the garden. The original foyer has been maintained as the formal front door, whilst a new side door provides easy access from the garage and driveway.

Alongside landscape designer Claire Greener, Studio McW has recreated the intimacy of a London terrace garden with a brick patio and water feature overlooked by an outdoor entertaining space that flows directly into the kitchen through sliding glass doors.

Follyfield highlights the architect’s sensitivity to natural materials. The new buildings are constructed with slim format clay bricks in a sandstone colour to blend with the existing masonry.

The next phase of the development will see the practice reorganise the second story of the main house, adding two bedrooms. A further extension will also be added to the western elevation, accommodating an extended main bedroom suite on the first floor and a dining area on the ground floor.

“Follyfield has been designed to instil the energy of a London lifestyle into a country retreat, blending together the best of both worlds. Working with traditional architecture like Follyfield requires a respectful and creative approach to adapting it to modern day (and future) energy and lifestyle needs, a sensitivity we enjoyed bringing to the project,” said Greg Walton, director at Studio McW.

Project details

Architect Studio McW
Interiors Studio Fortnum
Landscape designer Claire Greener Landscape Design
Contractor and joiner Horizon BC
Flooring Havwoods
Glazing Crittal, Design Plus
Sliding doors Cantifix
Rooflights The Rooflight Company
Kitchen Puccini Kitchens
Brickwork Petersen Tegl