Knitters House is a RIBA award-winning project by Sheffield-based CE+C architects. The brief was to transform an aging 1950’s bungalow into a modern contemporary dwelling, with interconnecting light-filled spaces. CE+C Architects focused on providing both a home and place of work for the client, a renowned international textile designer.
Working with a modest budget, the objective was to capture the essence of the location and use the topography, light and views to maximise usable space. The heart of the building is flooded with light, using rooflights and large frame windows to make the most of the scenic location, which provides stunning vistas over the moorland peaks of Holme Moss.
Viewed from the street the building has been modernized but remains quite restrained, mixing rendered finishes with painted brickwork to connect parts of the original building with the new. Echoes of the original bungalow can be found within the street-facing windows that maintain their original proportions, coupled with nods to the local vernacular by using a traditional roof finish in reclaimed slate.
Glazing Vision’s large modular Flushglaze rooflight is placed within the heart of the house, through a fissure reaching almost three stories high in the main entrance.The rooflight forms a central focal point in the building and is used to harness natural daylight on both floors, transforming the interior space and continuing the buildings dialogue with the surrounding landscape.
One important design aspect was the frameless appearance of the rooflight itself; due to its scale the specification of the glass would have been increased to a point where it compromised the budget. Therefore an alternative approach was to split the rooflight into equal sections.
Normally this can be achieved with the use of aluminium back-to-back angles, serving as a structural support underneath the joining sections of glass. However in this case the glass fins were used to maximise the minimalist appearance and capture the maximum amount of daylight.
The glass fin comprises of two heat-soak tested toughened sections of glass, with a laminated interlayer which provides structural support as well as an interesting architectural feature. It is secured to the interior opening by stainless steel fixings, which were left exposed in keeping with the contemporary aesthetic.
The clients’ profession didn’t just influence the project from a creative perspective but also on a sustainable level. The plans managed to maintain 80% of the original structure, with materials being sought from reclaimed sources wherever possible and new elements being designed to far exceed current building regulations.
By recognizing the importance of creating a home that satisfied every aspect of the clients’ needs, CE+C Architects were able to create something unusual, a home where the clients’ pride and passion for her work resonated within every aspect of the project build; from the carefully positioned lighting through to the individual hideaways and media rooms. For this reason, it fully deserves the award it has been given.
To find out more about how to unlock light, air and space in your project please call our technical specification team on 01379 353 741 or request a CPD.
CE + C Architects