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09 Nov 2021

A Link to the Past

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Located in the rolling hills of the Kentish countryside, Grade II Listed Mount House truly embraced inside-outside living when the secondary building on the property’s spacious plot was subjected to a sympathetic renovation. The transformation has brought the building up to 21st-century living standards and made the most of its surrounding vistas.

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Sieger Architectural Systems – part of the IQ Group, which encompasses IQ Glass – played a leading role in modernising the property with vast amounts of glazing. In this article, i-Build’s Editor, Rebecca Kemp, talks to IQ Group’s Shannon Normoyle about Sieger Architectural Systems’ involvement and finds out more about the charming site.

RK: What inspired you to take on this project?
SN: Working on listed properties is always exciting; getting to bring a contemporary touch to a traditional home always has a stunning result. Helping homeowners create light-filled spaces that they can use to make memories for years to come brings such joy to everyone involved. We always strive to create bespoke glazing solutions that ensure the homeowners have their perfect home.

RK: Please talk us through the building and its site.
SN: This beautiful Grade II Listed period property had a secondary oast building that was previously unused. The homeowners saw the potential in the space and, after getting planning permission, fully converted the oast house into a new, modern, functional living space that is connected to the main home with a thermally-insulated, frameless glass link.

RK: What style and age is the original building?
SN: The new property, which consists of the original home building and converted oast building, is an attractive Grade II Listed period family home with a Victorian facade with traditional coloured brickwork and high-pitched roofs. The oast building would originally have been used for kilned hops – part of the brewing process.

RK: How did you combine the original building’s style with the extension?
SN: The outside of the build stayed essentially the same, which gave the home a cohesive design from the exterior. To the side of the newly-renovated house is a Sieger Lux Casement Door, which is used as another entry point. The large, clear glass pane and dark, slim aluminium framing complement the surrounding traditional brickwork, contrasting slightly for a modern touch.

RK: What was the homeowner’s vision and inspiration for the renovation?
SN: A home that retained the existing Victorian-style exterior and English countryside charm, but when you walk inside, you are transported to a breathtaking contemporary space with an expertly-designed interior by Ceil Interior Design.

RK: How did you approach finalising your design brief?
SN: Once the homeowners finalised the vision for the new space, Sieger worked with them and the architect to design glazing solutions that maximised natural light and gave the internal living space a strong connection to the outdoors.

A two-pane Sieger Slim Sliding Door connects the modern living room with the garden, and the slim aluminium framing combined with the large gable-end window allows natural light to flow freely into the internal living space.

The glass link uses Invisio structural glazing as it is the first thermally-broken structural glazing system on the market, ensuring no heat is lost in the new home.

RK: Do you need planning permission for this type of project?
SN: For a project like this, which was mainly internal, planning permission is often not needed, however, as it is a Grade II Listed Building, planning permission was required for the glass link between the main home and new living space. If there are external works, it is always worth checking with your local planning authority.

RK: Were there any challenging aspects to the project and build?
SN: The main concern was connecting the two buildings with glazing. The homeowners wanted a modern touch, not a brick structure. With structural glazing, the thermal efficiency can sometimes be a concern. However, by utilising the Invisio thermally-broken structural glazing system, the new passageway helps to maximise natural light within the home and brings a contemporary touch to the Victorian facade without compromising on the thermal performance of the house.

RK: Who else was involved in this renovation?
SN: Marshall Carley Architects headed up the project with Ceil Interior Design creating the bespoke interior. Overall, everyone involved in the project worked extremely hard, which can be seen in the stunning end result.

RK: How did you approach material and product specification?
SN: Sieger’s slim-framed aluminium glazing systems are extremely popular with homeowners, architects and builders due to their flexibility in design, high-performance levels and sleek, modern aesthetic.

RK: Are there any particular materials that you would recommend to others looking to renovate or self-build?
SN: Aluminium-framed glazing is a must. For homeowners who self-build, the aftercare of the glazing may be of higher importance for you. Aluminium is a low-maintenance framing material with natural rust and corrosion-resistant properties that is a more cost-effective solution than steel.

RK: Please provide an overview of the finished space.
SN: Externally, the building is in keeping with the Victorian listed building aesthetic, blending in with the surrounding landscape and homes. When you enter the newly-renovated space, you are transported into a modern, luxury living space that is filled with natural light.

RK: How does the building respond to its surrounding landscape?
SN: As the exterior of the home was kept the same, aside from the addition of a few modern glazing systems, the building still fits in with the stunning countryside aesthetic of the surrounding landscape.

RK: What does the local community think of the refurbishment?
SN: Located in the Kent countryside, the home is somewhat secluded. People will always be concerned where listed buildings are involved, but with such minor changes to the exterior design, it is doubtful anyone in the community would have an issue. In fact, they may even decide to do something similar!

RK: Is the finished space everything that you hoped it would be?
SN: It really is! The whole renovation turned out even better than expected, and the homeowners were delighted with the new space. This previously-unused building will now be the perfect place for relaxing or entertaining guests.

RK: What do you love most about the refurbishment?
SN: The strong bond between the interior space and the outdoors. There is such a massive influx of natural light that can enter the home, and from within the house, there are clear views of the garden space thanks to the minimally-framed glazing.

RK: What’s your favourite room and why?
SN: Definitely the new kitchen-diner space that sits just inside of the Sieger slim sliding doors! The amount of natural light and views of the outdoors can’t be beaten. And the modern interior design with statement light pieces has depth and character, the perfect balance of a luxury space that still has a homely feel to it.

RK: What advice would you offer to anyone looking to renovate or self-build?
SN: Do as much research as you can beforehand; the internet is a wonderful place where you can read stories from other self-builders and renovators, and any mistakes they may have made, you can learn from! For larger projects, we would recommend working alongside professional architects and builders; however, this is not always essential depending on the homeowner’s experience and skillset and the size of the project.

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