Carpenter Oak had already completed an oak frame at the farm – a two-bay garage with accommodation above on the second floor.
‘Nearly eight times larger in volume than the building it replaced, the new build was designed to be built into the surrounding landscape in order to reduce its scale and massing and therefore appear as a single storey barn-like structure from the entry side.’ James Lock, Roderick James Architect
Carpenter Oak designed and made the structural frame as well as the two-sided balcony that wraps around the building to make the most of the views.
Although a very local project, logistics had to be overcome during the frame raising, with access to the slab up a steep and winding drive. Smaller lorries and a crane all managed to deliver and erect the frame, with our carpenters on site for a week.
An unlikely weather window saved the clients from having to erect a scaffolding roof over the frame while the builders – Alec Hoare & Son – made the wall and roof cassettes.
The glazing is an interesting feature, using a wrapping joinery screen around two sides, outside of the oak frame. The result is a continuous run, giving a cleaner look internally and externally and allowing for bifold windows at the gable end. Whilst giving a less ‘busy’ aesthetic, it also shows off the oak frame, with all four sides of the posts visible.
Gitcombe Retreat has three bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs and one of each upstairs. The kitchen, dining and living area are framed by the three-bay barn room with two sling brace trusses. The central wood burner is made possible by bespoke steel work on the ridge beam that the flue rises up though.
In January 2019 it recieved a 5* Gold Accolade from Visit England as well as M1 and M2 mobility rating. Book your stay at Gitcombe House Country Cottages and Spa.
Finished images by Matthew Heritage