Becketts Atelier is a new re-furbished house in the woods, remodeled from an old timber-framed studio positioned on the edge of the Greenbelt in Surrey. The new building serves as an addition to a main five bedroom dwelling in over three acres of Bluebells and woodland, a stunningly modernist house in an area of ‘Arts and Crafts’ mansions.
When the client originally bought the property, it had been semi-occupied by a mother and son for over twenty years, who emigrated to France. They had used the space as a workshop, artist’s studio and living quarters while the main house was under construction, and had also used it to prototype construction details for the main building. The main house was published, shortly after it was finished, in Homes and Gardens, May 1968.
When the client engaged Civic, they had already skilfully procured planning permission to convert the cabin into a two-bedroom single-storey dwelling. This is no mean feat on the edge of the Greenbelt. Civic then developed the detailed proposals for the Atelier within the parameters of the planning permission, developing the design of the internal plan and the design of the building’s relationship to its surrounding landscape, in particular.
The main contractor was chosen for his experience of working with timber, linked to constructing ‘garden buildings’ rather than dwellings. Close collaboration between the builder, the client and Civic during a builder-led ‘on site’ phase has meant that it has been possible to achieve a really elegant, simple dwelling on a very modest capital budget.