Studio Weave adds timber artist’s retreat to traditional English cottage

Artist retreat

Architecture office Studio Weave has added a timber-clad extension to a cottage in Devon, England, that has views of the surrounding landscape.

Studio Weave designed the two-storey addition to a stone cottage in the Blackdown Hills to provide flexible guest accommodation and a work space for the family and visiting artists.

Cottage extension in Devon
Studio Weave has extended a cottage in Devon

Named Made of Sand, after the site’s origins as a local sandpit, the extension was created for a family that lives between London and this secluded countryside retreat.

It was designed as a distinctly contemporary addition that uses its materiality to blend in with the rural surroundings.

Timber house extension
The extension is clad in timber

“Made of Sand balances our signature technical precision in an organic, natural setting,” said Studio Weave director Je Ahn.

“The contrast between materials, old and new, in and out, are foregrounded to create a distinct sense of rest and relaxation in the new spaces.”

Made of Sand extension by Studio Weave
It contains two storeys of creative space

The extension was designed to be independent from the main cottage so guests or local organisations can inhabit a dedicated space where they can connect with nature while working or practising their craft.

The cubic structure replaces an existing garage and workshop that had fallen into disrepair and is slotted in between the cottage and a restored stone stair.

The new wing wraps around the old cottage, with the geometric timber facades creating a strong contrast with the existing stone structure. Large glazed apertures incorporated into the main elevation provide views of the Blackdown Hills.

Wood-lined living space by Studio Weave
The building frames views of the surrounding landscape

A path along the hillside to the rear of the building leads towards a central entry hall and a stainless-steel galley kitchen that is illuminated by skylights and clerestory windows.

The ground floor also contains a bedroom suite that opens onto a wildflower meadow at the front of the property. Stairs ascend to a living space featuring a corner window at the level of the tree line.

Wood-lined living space with window seat
There are built-in window seats and storage units

The extension was constructed by a local cob building specialist and features crafted details that celebrate the hand-built techniques.

“Rust-coloured clay walls softly curve into door frames and timber wall joinery cut individually by hand demonstrates the care and attention executed by a dedicated client, architect and contractor partnership,” Studio Weave pointed out.

The interiors feature a palette of materials that complement the building’s setting and express the craft involved in its construction.

The facades are clad in red western cedar that will turn grey over time to echo the surrounding woodland, while the interior features natural materials including clay, terracotta and brass.

Douglas fir ceiling soffits throughout the spaces are echoed by joinery including built-in window seats and wall storage.

Interior of Made of Sand extension by Studio Weave
Natural materials feature inside

London-based Studio Weave applies a joyful, open-minded approach to its diverse projects for public, private and commercial clients.

Its previous work includes a viewing tower in east London that resembles a terraced house and a hikers’ shelter raised on stilts above a riverbank in Bordeaux, France.

The photography is by Jim Stephenson.

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