Those in glass houses…

Editorial

Historic private manor transformed with 21st century curved glass atrium

Spratley Studios has been commended by the RIBA South for its work on Blewbury Manor in North Oxfordshire. The Henley-based practice extended the private Grade II listed property, utilising an existing courtyard by transforming it into an interior space with a bespoke, curved glass atrium. This is coupled with a wholly glass staircase, which Spratley Studios claim is the first in the UK.

The client brief stated the need for a contemporary and practical family home with a sensitive alteration of the existing space. The architect responded with a double-glazed, high-tech glass roof spanning the building’s historic core, allowing shafts of natural sunlight to penetrate the central space and illuminate the living areas. This choice of materials also ensures that the original walls of the Manor can be viewed from inside the new extension, in a seamless integration of old and new spaces.

Speaking on the commendation Spratley Studios received from RIBA South, Spratley Studios Director, Jeremy Spratley, said “Praise from the RIBA is particularly gratifying and is affirmation of our vision for Blewbury Manor. This was no ordinary brief, our client was looking for something outstanding and impressive and we have achieved this by fusing medieval values with the integrity of new technology. We have enhanced this listed building as a forward-looking piece of its time.”

Despite commissioning ‘top-quality’ glass technicians from Venice to work on certain elements of the build, Spratley Studios employed only local specialised craftsmen where possible, who worked largely with locally sourced reclaimed materials.

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