James Grayley Architects

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Workers Cottage

Private Client , Mendip, 2019

A workers’ dwelling and animal shelter set within a sloping hillside in the Mendips

The Project creates a new build dwelling for farm workers and an Alpaca stable in a valley in the Mendip Hills. The conceptual approach draws on ancient precedents, providing accommodation for agricultural workers and animals within the same building.

The sloping site is exploited to create a generous contemporary dwelling on the upper floor with a stable cut into the hillside in the undercroft.

Composed of two staggered volumes, the shift in rotation and change in ridge height prevents the proposal from appearing as a single overbearing form and creates internal distinction between the living areas and more private bedroom wing. The main living areas are orientated towards the expansive south facing view and the elevation is recessed back from the roof edge creating a sheltered terrace.

A lightweight timber building is conceived for the upper storeys, sitting atop a robust stone plinth. The new building sits as an unobtrusive piece of contemporary architecture carefully inserted into the wider agricultural landscape.