Cowan Architects has won the 2021 Sussex Heritage Trust Award for a mid-scale residential project for work undertaken on The Dower House, Shovelstrode Manor. The 2021 Awards were presented by Patron, Christopher Gebbie OBE DL and Chairman, Simon Knight DL with over 240 guests, including the High Sheriffs of East and West Sussex.

The Dower House has been unaltered since it was separated off from Shovelstrode Manor in the 1950s. It is made special by its Arts & Crafts features.

Cowan Architects were appointed to sensitively adapt and restore the building, reconfiguring it internally with new single storey additions to form two dwellings for permanent family residence along with a self-contained 2nd floor carer’s suite. The family rooms were moved to enjoy views over the gardens with extensions in places to suit the re-ordered internal spaces, whilst retaining the special Arts & Crafts range. There was also a re-servicing to use modern, low-energy technologies and a sustainable form of central heating.

The heritage status of the Dower House required sensitive handling to ensure the internal alterations work with the existing building and the external extensions, although contemporary, used a material palette to complement the building with historic features retained in-situ where possible. The ancillary buildings were creatively re-used, adapted and rebuilt, with a lightweight glazed link creating a new entrance, and further glazed insertions taking advantage of the views. Any rebuild of the ancillary building retained the historic brickwork, with a matching bonding pattern and bed heights to the brickwork.


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