The contemporary extension that lays behind the historic former school house

This fabulous Yorkshire home is set to star on Channel 4 Grand Designs House of the Year

The Yorkshire home of architect James Arkle is set to appear on Channel 4's Grand Designs House of the Year

By Sharon Dale
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 12:40 pm

Grand Designs House of the Year on Channel 4 has sparked some serious house envy. The series sees Kevin McCloud, Michelle Ogundehin and Damion Burrows visit properties that have been long-listed for the Royal Institute of British Architects 2021 House of the Year award. Among them is a fabulous home in Yorkshire belonging to architect James Arkle of Leeds-based Arkle Boyce Architects, which will appear in the December 8 edition of the programme.

The converted, historic former school house in Howsham now hides an exceptional contemporary rear extension. Creating the perfect juxtaposition between old and new in a beautiful, rural location was the next best thing to finding a self-build plot for James and his wife Gail who had been hunting for a forever home for over two years. “It was built in 1852 and was converted about 30 years ago. It is also Grade II-listed, which impacts on planning permission, but there was an unsympathetic extension and a uPVC conservatory at the back so I knew there was scope to improve on that, ” says James.

The existing school house had a double-height sitting room, a small kitchen, dining room and conservatory on the ground floor while upstairs were two bedrooms and a bathroom. James has added a linear, rectangular extension that houses a new entrance area and a kitchen/dining room with a utility room and views down the L-shaped garden to countryside beyond. He also added a first floor bedroom suite. This box-style structure is timber clad in frake, a hardwood that weathers to an unobtrusive silvery grey to match the colour of Northern skies. The entrance area has full-height storage cupboards made from Howdens kitchen units and the kitchen is by York’s Studio35. The only thing James would change is the biomass boiler for a less labour intensive air source pump. Pictures by Nicholas Worley.

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