HAPA Architects Completes Stunning Renovation of Old Rectory Cottage, Barcombe

HAPA Architects Completes Stunning Renovation of Old Rectory Cottage, Barcombe

Old Rectory cottage extension

At HAPA Architects, we’re excited to share the completion of our latest project: the renovation and extension of Old Rectory Cottage in Barcombe. Our team approached this project with a clear goal in mind: to address circulation issues, enhance accommodation, and preserve the charm of the historic core of the original structure. Here’s a closer look at how we transformed this beautiful property.

Revitalising the Historic Core

Old Rectory Cottage has a rich history and a cozy charm that we aimed to restore. Previous piecemeal extensions had disrupted the layout, so our first step was to remove these outdated additions. This allowed us to create a light and spacious kitchen-dining room, which we sunk into the ground to establish a level threshold between the interior and the garden terrace. The centrepiece of this space is a large wall of sliding glazed doors, seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor living and offering stunning views of the South Downs and the surrounding landscape.

Old rectory cottage extension

Creating Inviting Spaces

We also added an expansive family sunroom on the ground floor, featuring a cantilever oriel window with an oak-clad window seat. This inviting reading nook is bathed in natural light and frames beautiful views of the outdoors. The existing porch was extended slightly, and we introduced Crittall style doors leading to a central hallway with a bespoke oak staircase. This staircase, crafted from oak with black metal spindles and a gently curved handrail, contrasts elegantly with the concrete floor tiles by Maria Starling.




Thoughtful First Floor Expansion

On the first floor, we added new rooms strategically positioned partly above the flat roof extension, forming a striking ‘M’ shaped roof. The first-floor extension is clad in slate to match the existing roofing, maintaining architectural cohesion. We also incorporated three large zinc-clad contemporary dormer windows, which add light to the upper rooms and create a compelling feature on this elevation.

Old rectory cottage extension

Sustainable Design at Its Core

Sustainability was a cornerstone of this project. We aimed to create a low-energy dwelling through innovative design, sustainable practices, and modern technology. All existing walls were insulated to enhance energy efficiency while preserving the historic aesthetic of the main south-facing elevation. The new build elements feature high levels of insulation and passive solar design principles, minimising heat loss and promoting natural heating.

To combat high summer temperatures, we incorporated a cantilevered roof to shade the large glazed section, reducing solar heat gain and enhancing indoor comfort. Additionally, a large part of the ground floor benefits from underfloor heating powered by an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP), providing efficient low-temperature heating.

Emphasis on Quality Materials

We prioritised sustainable and visually appealing materials to enhance both the aesthetic and environmental performance of Old Rectory Cottage. The timber cladding, sourced from responsibly managed forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), showcases the natural beauty of larch wood. This cladding contrasts beautifully with the dark slate used for the first-floor cladding and roof, adding depth and texture to the exterior facade.

old rectory cottage extension


Through meticulous design and craftsmanship, HAPA Architects has revitalised Old Rectory Cottage, blending modern contemporary design with timeless elegance while respecting its architectural vernacular. We’re proud of this transformation and look forward to creating more exceptional spaces in the future.

Private House by HAPA Architects. Copyright Jim Stephenson 2024

Photos by Jim Stephenson

For more information about this project take a look at the Old Rectory Cottage page here. Or to discuss your own renovation needs, please contact us at: info@hapa-architects.co.uk

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