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What started as minor alterations turned into ONE17's most ambitious - and successful refurbishment. Join us for a look inside.
All photography © Jonty Wilde
Highfield Farm sits high on the valley side looking down on the pretty village of Ripponden to the west of Halifax. When owners Gareth and Rachel Henderson bought the property it was handsome enough, displaying a mix of Arts & Crafts and ‘Gingerbread House’ influences in the architecture. Built in the 1950s it had been beautifully maintained and benefitted from a generous detached garage and carefully laid-out gardens. Perfect for a young family to move into? Well, not really. The interiors, although having enjoyed a regular regime of redecoration and thoughtful attention, were somewhat dated and rather too much uPVC had found its way into the building. The place had the distinct air of an upmarket retirement home. Besides this, the conventional and rather staid arrangement of the accommodation did not make full use of the opportunities afforded by the position and views and Gareth and Rachel wanted five, not four bedrooms.
Gareth, through his business interests as managing director of Orchard Facilities Management, an operational and compliance management company he had established and has grown over 12 years, met Mark Lee of ONE17 Architects & Interior Designers. Gareth asked Mark to have a look at Highfield, thinking he might be just the man to breathe some new life into the property.
THE WORKING RELATIONSHIP ESTABLISHED BETWEEN CLIENT AND DESIGNER IS CERTAINLY REFLECTED IN THE RESULT, BUT IT WAS ALSO SHOWN IN OTHER WAYS.
The scheme turned out to involve full open heart surgery with the entire interior remodelled and some important changes made to the principal elevation looking down over the valley. The resulting scheme shown here is a textbook example of several key tenets of ONE17’s approach: reworking existing buildings to extend their useful lives; working with the best features of a building, its setting and orientation; linking interiors with outside spaces; ensuring the design is consistent from overall space planning through to the smallest details of the interior. Highfield is a classic example of a design philosophy being applied with coherence and rigour at every level.
The pictures of the completed scheme speak for themselves and the client is delighted. The working relationship established between client and designer is certainly reflected in the result, but it was also shown in other ways.
...EVEN A DOMESTIC PROPERTY DEMANDS ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER WITH THE INPUT OF COUNTLESS INDIVIDUALS HAVING TO BE CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED.
The site has rather restricted access for large vehicles and limited space available for storage and manoeuvring within. Gareth’s company Orchard Facilities Management, working in conjunction with ONE17’s Project Management arm, organised operations on site, streamlining them and ensuring all legal obligations were met.
Mark Lee explained “This is a major construction project with different teams accessing the site at various stages over many months. One of the key challenges was site access: the house is at the end of a long private lane so we had to work with our contractor supply chain to select the correct size of machinery to bring in.”
As the site was cleared Orchard sorted all waste streams and managed the compliant recycling of metals, wood and plastics. General waste skips were sent to a specialist recovery site so that remaining materials could be sorted and recycled. Orchard also managed the removal of existing gas meters and resulting of new metering facilities. A complete asbestos survey of the site was carried out before work started.
Justin Holley, Operations Director of Orchard Facilities Management added: “We provided welfare facilities to comply with CDM construction regulations, including a mess and office area, a drying area and onsite toilet and washroom facilities which we linked directly into main drains as a temporary service.” Justin said his company was increasingly being commissioned to work on construction projects as part of the building services team to manage site safety and compliance.
All of which is a sobering reminder of the organisation that goes into producing a scheme such as the one shown here. It may look serene and composed on completion with a satisfied client enjoying the results, but even a domestic property demands organisational skills of the highest order with the input of countless individuals having to be carefully orchestrated.
The quality of the completed house is gratifying for Mark Lee but he mentions another part of the scheme as having given him particular pleasure. “We undertook some small but important changes to the detached garage. With an altered roof and some new stone steps leading up to a loft storage area, it now forms an important complement to the house itself and completes the composition of the site.”
It is this attention to the overall picture that has made Highfield the success it is.