Nicoll Russell Studios were commissioned to convert a 15th Century listed dwelling in the historical centre of Colchester into an Orthodontic practice with three surgeries. Although the majority of the accommodation is housed within the existing building an extension was required to accommodate a ground floor surgery to provide services for patients with disabilities and a new fire stair, office and toilets. The extension sits within a narrow site flanked by neighbouring properties. A great deal of consideration went into the planning of the extension in order to achieve a compact solution which responds to the restrictions of the site and compliments the character of the surrounding conservation area.
It was important to adopt a sensitive approach to designing the practice to ensure that any contemporary interventions would respect the special historic characteristics of the listed building. To achieve this all additions were designed to be complimentary yet distinguishable through the use of carefully selected materials and form. The extension, for example, has been articulated to create a two storey pitched roof element which is visually ‘separated’ from the existing building by a simple flat roofed glazed link corridor which also provides light into the deep plan via the stairwell. The exposed timber within the extension has been designed as a modern interpretation of the timber framed structure of the existing medieval building.
Photography : Kristen Baikie for NRS