A Stalham, dans le comté de Norfolk au Royaume Uni, les architectes londoniens d'ACME ont réalisé la réhabilitation et l'extension de cette petite maison de briques datant du XIXème siècle. Autrefois occupée par le gardien du moulin situé sur la parcelle, elle se transforme aujourd'hui en habitation familiale, flanquée d'une extension habillée de bois sombre. Archétypal, minimal, vernaculaire.

Sur le projet "Hunsett Mill", les architectes d'ACME précisent:

"The Norfolk Broads are an artificial landscape of outstanding natural beauty, a man made wetland sustained through human intervention of water pumping mills, dykes and canals. After hundreds of years of industrial use of the natural landscape, the recent decades have seen increasing emphasis on conservation and a managed retreat back to nature. The Hunsett Mill project was founded on similar principles, whereby careless piecemeal development, harmful to the immediate context and in conflict with local flood ecology was removed and replaced with an intervention that is contemporary in expression but deeply embedded in the local context. It is all but self sufficient in energy, water and waste, with an actively positive effect on local ecology. The design considered its embodied energy and method of construction as well as its efficiency during occupation. The environmental aims are directly embodied in the architectural concept to achieve a building that appears robust, pure and simple , with a clarity of space and consistency across scales and materialities.

Hunsett Mill is a remote water pumping mill located in the historic Norfolk Broads National Park, situated beside the River Ant, upstream from the Sutton Broads. The house was a residence for the Keeper of the Mill until 1900, when the advent of electricity rendered wind-powered pumps obsolete. Since the end of its working life, the house has been used as a private residence, but has remained an important piece of local heritage, standing adjacent to the well-known historic grade 2 listed Hunsett Mill.

Building History

Throughout its life in the 20th century, the house suffered from a series of ill-conceived extensions, added to alleviate the original houses spatial shortcomings. All of these extensions negatively affected the setting of the original house and caused subsidence and repeated flooding. When the owners of the house needed further space, it was decided not to add yet another incremental extension, but to re-instate the tiny 19th century Mill Keeper's house to its original proportions, with only a single new extension added to one side.

The new extension

In order for the new extension to retreat behind the listed setting of the mill, the new addition is conceived as a shadow of the existing house. By adding a dark volume to the existing brick volume and by virtue of the chosen facade geometry, the exact shape of the extension volume seems ambiguous from afar. When inspected at closer distance, the radically modern approach is mediated by the image of pitched roofs and dark timber boards that are a historic part of the Broads vernacular language. The massing and  proportions of the new addition are configured to remain subordinate to the original building, yet the charred timber cladding helps it to settle into its context.  The intervention appears as if it always belonged to the site, without reverting to false mimicry of the vernacular. The extension is made entirely from solid laminated wood, exposed as interior finish and clad in charred cedar boards externally. Ground source heat pumps, passive solar heating and independent water well supply make the house almost fully  self-sufficient."

Pour en savoir plus, visitez le site d'ACME.

Source: Architizer

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