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. www.arkleboyce.co.uk