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The Modernist Cottage Renovation

hillside section views

2A1M Studio have recently been appointed to modernise and extend a superb property nestled deep in the Somerset countryside. the property is embedded into a steeply wooded hillside with exceptional views towards the Severn Estuary. The principal spaces of the house allow residents to observe kites wheeling above the pristine wooded hills and watch dramatic weather fronts rolling in from the west.


axonometric views sketch

The house was built in 2003 by the Architect Mike Macrae, a graduate of the Bartlett and the Architecture Association with a talent for integrating form and strategic analysis. This lead to his masterplanning work at Milton Keynes, Buffalo and Beersheba through the 1960s and 70s after which he settled in Bristol.


The project brief for 2A1M is exceptionally wide ranging, with an acceptance of phasing and a long-term ambition to synthesise the virtues of the existing property with the specific needs of the family who now live there.  

From the outset it was clear that our interventions would need to work intimately and sensitively with the extant building and design principles; carefully weaving new pieces into the rich and robust frame that had already been established. Themes include privacy, productive activation of the sites extents and topography and introducing spatial and experiential variety into the drama of the interior.



The property is located in the green belt and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. On top of this, two previous extensions mean we will be need to be aware of the overall volumetric increase on the original property to avoid what could be seen as ‘disproportionate development’.


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