Simmonds Drive is an attractive, substantial chalet bungalow, located in Kent. It is home to a family with have a disabled daughter. Prior to the extension, the daughter’s facilities were located on the first floor, but it was always family’s intention to extend the property in the future to provide easily accessible ground floor accommodation and facilities that would allow the child both contact with the family and a degree of independence.
The property had the benefit of a large, three-bay garage, with a room in the roof, and this provided the ideal space to convert into the required accommodation, namely a bedroom and ensuite shower room on the ground-floor for the child, plus a carer’s suite on the floor above.
It had been acknowledged by the family and the care team that one of the activities that was of particular benefit the daughter was hydrotherapy. It was therefore decided to extend the house to the rear to include a 6-by-3-metre indoor swimming pool.
The original design (which was by others) of the pool room resulted in an extension that split the rear garden in two. One area of garden was for the daughter and the other was for the family and, rightly, this was not considered conducive to cohesive family life. Cowan Architects, as a result of close collaboration with the family and the daughter’s Occupational Therapist, arrived at a new design that realised the potential of the garden as a space to be enjoyed by the whole family, whilst still achieving the requisite extension for the hydrotherapy pool.
The pool extension benefited from a large roof-light as well as a set of bi-folding doors that open onto a patio. The bi-folding doors have a level threshold for accessibility to the outside. In addition to the aesthetics and functionality of the project, close attention was paid to the control of climate-control in the pool room. This took the form of the installation of specialist equipment that provided heating of the pool as well as space-heating, dehumidification and condensation-control.
HARTLEY LONGFIELD | KENT