19th Nov 2018
Each principal contractor project at StuartBarr CDR is very much a test of team-work, from the planning stages and right through the build. The 12 months of extension, re-modelling and renovation works at Chestnut Ridge was no exception. With up to ten contracting companies on site at any one time, the site managers role (in this case the experience hands and mind of Pete Olliffe) was pivotal to the smooth running of the project.
Architectural design was by HollandGreen. A contemporary, vaulted oak framed extension to the far side of the property sets the scene for the overall re-modelling, two storey extension and renovation of the rest of the property. The client had recently purchased a substantial 1980’s home which, whilst spacious and in good order suffered from poorly thought-out extensions that compartmentalised the house. The client’s vision was to open up the house to the rolling countryside beyond and introducing an open plan kitchen and living space where the family could come together. A vaulted garden room and study space would be linked to the house and the rear garage was to be replaced with a family gym.
Landscape design by Charlotte Berry at Cool Gardens also embraced the vision of maximising the fabulous views across the Misbourne Valley. Plans were focused on cleverly sculpting the gardens to make the most of the incredible views and to allow the pool to become a more cohesive part of the overall scheme. Charlotte says the project challenge was the change of level between the house and the pool and the realisation that the pool wasn’t quite perpendicular to the house – a designer’s nightmare! The main house was being re-developed to be more symmetrical, so we wanted the design to reflect this whilst also ensuring the oak framed extension was incorporated into the space.
The final design gives plenty of space for entertaining close to the house with a formal lawn leading out towards the pool. Gently sloping lawn paths form a relaxing route around the garden and centralised steps give easy access straight to the pool for the kids in summer. The circular pool terrace, with adjacent firepit, is the perfect gin and tonic spot! The client was keen to use the same flooring material inside and out, opting for a contemporary porcelain. The pool terrace was laid with a contrasting wood effect porcelain and the step risers were finished with Corten steel which is picked up really effectively by the lighting scheme. Planting borders were incorporated to soften the scheme, with trees, underplanted shrubs and mixed perennials framing the view.
All glazing to the rear of the house was by IQ glass; large sliding panels with minimal sight lines bringing the outside in. The oak frame for the garden room was by Buckland Timber, again with stunning architectural IQ glazing. JC electricals, trusted sub-contractors to the Barr Group team, installed the base wiring system, followed up with high tech lighting, audio-visual and security by Chris Lewis Group. “The client was after a simple solution to a smart home. Installation of Control 4 as the main hub was used to run Lutron lighting throughout, as well as Sonos Multiroom Audio and Blustream HD distribution. The Control 4 also links to the heating, CCTV, alarm and entrance gates, through a single simple interface”.
David Noonan, Director at StuartBarr CDR sums up “Principal contractor jobs are always about working as a team – often in challenging circumstances where the site foreman is responsible for co-ordinating several specialist sub-contractors, often on a restricted site. There may also be direct to client contractors, as in this case with Cool Gardens, with whom we need to work co-operatively alongside. The key is always lasting relationships, good planning and strong communication and working with specialists who share the Barr Group values – with most of whom we have long standing working relationships. It is important that all parties involved understand the client’s vision and therefore the significance of their contribution in bringing it to fruition.”
StuartBarr CDR would not only like to thank our wonderful Chesnut Ridge clients - but also the core team and the collective of specialist sub-contractors who came together to make the magic happen. In the words of our client, Matt, “we are delighted with what the teams achieved in helping make our vision for the house become a reality. We feel we have finally done justice to this house and it’s fantastic view of the Chilterns.