Cornish Cottage by Architecture Office – ADC

Architecture Office has restored and extended a Grade II listed property on the River Fowey in Cornwall.



Nick Dearden

Edinburgh studio Architecture Office has completed an extension to a Grade-II listed 19th Century home in the in the village of Golant. Located just off the wide banks of the River Fowey, the house sits atop a slope, with its garden facing south and looking over the Cornish village.

The cottage has been refurbished, with work being done to restore its lost history; adaptations carried out in the 1960s had resulted in muddled plan and the poor quality of this previous work meant that the house had suffered architecturally.


The new extension has been designed to provide a generous kitchen and dining space with an adjoining covered entrance portico for contemporary family living.

Architecture Office’s extension – facilitated by the demolition of the extension carried out in the ‘60s – creates a new kitchen-diner, replacing what was once a small kitchen, carport and coal bunker. This, in turn, allows the other internal spaces within the house to be more appropriately connected and flow more smoothly, with the original cottage now containing three bedrooms, a study, two bathrooms, living room and a snug, which have been finished in earthy hues of off-white, greens and pinks.

The new open-plan kitchen and dining area, meanwhile, has been set under exposed joists, emulating the vernacular of the original cottage.



A buttermilk yellow kitchen echoes the yellow tone of the original front door, while the hessian tone lime-washed oak flooring adds warmth and texture to the space.

The studio was also keen to retain the cottage’s Cornish character, achieved in part by retaining some of its existing imperfections such as asymmetric openings and uneven wall surfaces, the latter being subtly amplified by a breathable, three-coat lime render.

“The project is a rational solution for a confused home, finding clarity through examination of the historic fabric to reveal original spaces while retaining the inherent character and patina of the architecture,” said Alexander Mackison, director, Architecture Office. “This is something that cannot be introduced, only found.”

“We were careful from the outset to maintain and elevate its true character. Those familiar with the house before have commented that it has the same aura, an integral element we are exceptionally pleased to have preserved.”


Externally, local Cornish scantle slate has been used for the roof, while the façade has been stripped of masonry paint, with Killas rubble stone walls being repointed with lime.

The new extension employs grey facing brick to mimic the cottage’s masonry. This works in tandem with the new brickwork that makes use of slaister lime pointing which has applied to the brick joints to soften and age its appearance and strengthen is aesthetic connection to the original cottage.

Furthermore, slate parapet coping has been used as part of a continuation of the original window sills, with the original 19th-century front sash windows having been restored. Openings to the rear, added in the 1960s meanwhile, have been replaced by  timber velfac double-glazed windows.

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Source: Architecture Today