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Purey Cust Garden House

Architect/ Designer: Seven Architecture
Client/Developer: GEM Construction
Builder: GEM Construction

The Garden House at the Purey Cust occupies an extremely sensitive site hard against the mediaeval wall of the Minster Close.  It is a comprehensive reworking of an old potting shed and the mediaeval cellars below it.  The original buildings remain but are cloaked in an elegant new skin of stone, natural timber, glass and zinc sheeting – used in an entirely contemporary manner.  The living spaces occupy the volumes above ground and seem remarkably generous.  The roof plane is raised with rooflights that provide glimpses of the Minster towering over the wall of the Close.  In the cellar below are two bedrooms and a bathroom – which are provided with roof lights that totally dispel any sense of being underground.  The house is full of inventive but simple features that give the magical impression that the interior is much larger than the exterior.  This is itself a remarkable architectural achievement and all the more remarkable since it occupies a site of such sensitivity.  The architects, the developer, the builders – and the planning officers who were persuaded to approve it – deserve much congratulation.

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