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A Perfect Gem Preserved in a Time Warp

When we first entered Wick Street Farm, we discovered a perfect gem preserved in a time warp. Dusty old attics steeped in vintage relics and antique papers with soaring 16th/17th Century timber frames painted a picture of historic Stroud.

Remarkable features such as early plasterwork, undulating elm floors, beautiful pieces of stone masonry, panelled screens and leaded windows were also a conservation architects dream.

Unusually, an accessible stairway had never been created. The two original spiral staircases that were tucked away in a circular stone alcove by the fireplaces were used to connect all floors. There was a separate wing of outbuildings with dark and interconnecting rooms. It was almost impossible to use as a house.

We made the brave decision to cut through the main house and introduce a sculptural central staircase. We took inspiration from the originals, but added a contemporary feel by making the vertical circulation a celebration as opposed to a function.

Much of the work demanded sensitive restoration although we took the opportunity to connect the two buildings and add an extra wing to create a more modern house with several high-quality additions.

The modern garden wing very much represents the form and proportions of 17th Century Cotswolds; in design terms it is carefully crafted and provides a key room with a light and airy living space that invites the lush green Cotswolds landscape inside.

With the farm being fairly grand in scale, we were able to forest most materials including the new oak from the client’s land. The project process was very collaborative with the client being very much part of the process and importantly, seeing this newly restored building as a family home as well as part of a working farm.

As mentioned above, this project is full of history and features that were a delight to discover. Below are a few images revealing this 17th century Cotswold Farm house during the first stages of the restoriation