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Grafton House

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How do you down-size from a six bedroom beautiful rambling home to a one-storey bespoke build? The question posed to Fi and Tony, both in their 80's, was a tricky one, namely because of their furniture. Tony, a furniture maker and tutor, dedicated his life to making beautiful furniture.

Furniture makers brief.


Their large house was too much to maintain in their retirement, and due to it been a Listed Building, it would be too onerous and expensive to adapt to their needs. Both envisioned a simpler life-style, continuing their love of gardening, and with an energy efficient home that had minimal running costs.

Rebecca suggested that they initially develop their brief,  recognising the dilemma of down-sizing. With a restricted floor area of 100sq/m due to a S106 agreement required by Shropshire Local Authority, it became paramount that Fi and Tony chose their favourite pieces of furniture to display in their new home. They worked together to develop a beautiful brief, made up of cardboard furniture cut to scale, and from this we explored a series of designs, laying out the chosen furniture into the spaces. 


The result was a building designed around Tony's furniture. Rebecca brought to this the passive house principals, and Fi and Tony's love of gardening and the outdoors by maximising the useable space with a large wrap-around verandah. This allowed for an outside storage space and protection from the rain and sun.

The construction is a twin-wall timber frame with 300mm of Warmcel insulations; Intello aritightness membrane; Mechanical Ventilation & Heat Recovery, 5kw wood-burning stove.

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Design team

RRA Architecture

Structural Engineer

BJSE Engineers

Planning application

Full planing with S106 agreement


PYC Construction Ltd

Floor Area


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