Residential Refurbishment in Central Cambridge
The earliest OS map (1886) shows this corner house with its outbuildings. It is unlike neighbouring houses, being taller with a plain-tiled roof, attic dormers and a canted ground floor level corner suggestive of a former entry. Spalding’s Street & General Directory of Cambridge published in 1887 listed the property as ‘Bassingbourn House,’ by 1924 it had been taken by T.R.Blacktop and it remained listed as a shop till Kelly’s last directory was published in 1975.
The building we were asked to refurbish had since been subdivided into bedsits with the dilapidated but charming outbuilding used as a garage and store. Modern windows had replaced the former large shop front that faced the street.
The brief was to refurbish the house bringing in as much light as possible and forming a connection to the courtyard garden to the rear. The outbuilding would be used as an annexe offering additional accommodation.
The former shop front was reinstated, the ground floor rooms were reconfigured and extended providing views and access to the garden. A structural survey of the outbuilding showed that sadly it was beyond saving so it was recorded and then carefully taken down. The intention was to reconstruct the building making it thermally efficient without loosing its ‘outbuilding’ qualities.
The brickwork was rebuilt as an insulated cavity wall construction on the footprint of the former building and left unplastered. A large glazed screen with metal framed doors provides access to the garden. The first floor is boarded internally and weather-boarded externally with a long first floor level window providing light and views of the garden.
Architect: Cowper Griffith
Project Value: Undisclosed
Contractors: Offord & Camp LLP
Joinery: B&P Joinery Services LTD, Bluntisham
Photography: Matthew Smith