La Maison du Portinfer

Jersey Design Awards 2022 ‘Highly Commended’ – Best small-scale building or extension

On the site of a Grade 3 listed farm grouping of early 18thcentury origins, this architectural addition is the latest in a historic line of accretions to the farmstead, forming the 21stcentury phase of the site’s history.

This scheme is an extension of an orangerie to a previously converted barn in a historic farmstead, made up of several architecturally and historically important buildings (including a laverie/boulangerie), which exhibit various traditional characteristics.  The extension was designed to nestle discretely against its host; and to work within the internal flow of the home, it lies to the south side of the grange.  It is of small scale, and is subservient to its host, to maintain the impact of the host’s ‘U’ plan form.

It was important that the historic features and characteristics of the existing building remained visible, and this was achieved by retaining the historic external openings internally and leaving the rubble granite walls exposed to the inside of the new room, to allow the continued appreciation the detailing and tactility of the historic fabric.

Materially, external walls were constructed from a mixture of red brick pillar corners and bays, much like an old coach house, with large, oak framed, timber windows and doors, with strong oak lintels, and timber infill to the sides, continuing in the coach house theme. The scale, character and materiality expressly reference a traditional ‘cart shed’ form, in careful consideration to the original use and proportions of the original barn. Despite its contemporary use, and abundant glazing, the internal space and building still feel like parts of a historic farm grouping.

The architect has exhibited considerable skill, to coordinate a scheme that not only meets the clients’ expectations and Planning and Building Control requirements, but also ensures that the addition sits sympathetically within the realm of the historic barn, the other, nearby historic buildings, and the adjacent historic and rural sites and vistas.