Backing onto Greenbelt, just a mile from Wandlebury Woods, Monkey Roost in Stapleford is a charming 1970’s home, designed by Professor Matthew Clark OBE, for which we have recently completed a major refurbishment, reconfiguration and extension. The original L-shaped house, with distinctive mono-pitched roof, wraps around a small front garden and turns its back on the countryside to the north. This combination of modesty and natural beauty extends to the interior, the defining feature of which is a generous double-height space in which the timber roof structure is on full view. The latter takes on a sculptural quality and contributes to a simple but affecting palette of clear-varnished timber and white-painted brick.
Winner of RIBA Regional Award and Small Project of the Year Award 2020.
“The project is an excellent example of where good design adds significant value, and creates a wonderful house with relatively modest means. It is an accomplished piece of architecture and a sensitive renewal of an original building providing it with a long term sustainable future”
RIBA East Judges
Inspired by this visible structure, the two-storey extension (aligned with the existing mono-pitched roof) is predominantly of timber frame construction. The extension includes a first floor living room with exposed Douglas Fir joists notched into a Douglas Fir ring beam. A highly glazed, double-height entrance hall links the old and the new. This includes a staircase that not only serves the first floor of the extension, but also provides connection at first floor level to the existing mezzanine study and stores, previously accessed only by ladder. The extension is designed to add amenity discreetly.
The new 90 square metre extension connects physically with the garden and visually with the views of gently rolling farmland stretching to the north and east. A generous kitchen-cum-dining room on the ground floor and living room on the first floor provide highly usable, humane spaces for the family. The original house has been reconfigured to provide bedrooms, bathrooms and study spaces, with the original kitchen converted into a utility room entred off the new hallway.
Grand Designs magazine April 2020