• "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

    - Benjamin Franklin

  • "Climate change is the biggest thing that humans have ever done on this planet. The one thing that needs to be even bigger is our movement to stop it"

    - Bill McKibben

  • "If you really think the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money"

    - Dr. Guy McPherson

  • "Most of us are aware that scientists say climate change is underway, but even if we accept it as true we act as if it had no implications"

    - Prof Naomi Oreskes

  • "The Earth was much warmer than today in the early Cenozoic period. It was so warm that there were no ice sheets on the planet and sea level was about 75 meters higher"

    - Prof James Hansen

  • "The human-made rate of change of atmospheric Co2 is ten thousand times larger than the natural rate that drove the climate changes of the past"

    - Prof James Hansen

  • "If we could catch one five thousandth part of the energy that the sun sprays onto this globe every day we would meet all of the energy requirements of humanity"

    - Sir David Attenborough, 2015

  • "I'd put money on the sun and solar energy, what a source of power. I hope we wont have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that"

    - Thomas Edison, 1931

  • "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek"

    - Barak Obama

  • "The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening and we are entering a period of consequences"

    - Al Gore, 2006

  • "We shall need a new way of thinking if humanity is to survive"

    - Albert Einstein, 1954

  • "Admit nothing into your home that is neither useful nor beautiful."

    - William Morris

  • "Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and eat and sleep with the earth."

    - Walt Whitman

  • "Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in lowly places that all disdain. That is why it is so near to Tao"

    - Lao Tzu

  • "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art"

    - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • "The truth of a vessel lies not in that of which it is made; it lies in the space contained within"

    - Lao Tze

  • "Study Nature, Love Nature, stay close to Nature. It will never fail you."

    - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • "That which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of the night"

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Your house is your larger body. It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; yet it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? And dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop?"

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vinyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these fully satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains?’ Nature remains"

    - Walt Whitman

  • "Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity."

    - Wolfgang von Goethe

Kelmscott Extension

Oxfordshire, UK


About This Project

An extension to a Grade II Listed cottage in a rural Oxfordshire village.

The cottage is a long detached single-room wide cottage stretching from North to South, presenting gables in both directions.

The extension was to the Southern end of the cottage and incorporated a remodelled Kitchen/Utilities area, a new Family Dining area and a Study gallery ‘in the roof’ at first floor level. The plan size of the space added was approximately 5 metres by 5 metres – so not large by any definition!

The extension incorporates three elements in close juxtaposition.

  • a reflecting pool drawn up to the walls of the house on the outside,
  • a galleried floor inside, and between them
  • a tall bay window on the new gable.

The galleried floor would allow sunlight to penetrate into the interior, while the pool reflected dappled patterns of light up through the tall bay onto the walls and ceilings. The level of the water was kept as high as possible in relation to the cill height of the bay window for this reason – to get the reflected light inside. On sunny days the reflected light from the pool moved in accordance with nuances of water and wind movement – casting forever changing reflections into the cottage.

A garden sprite statue designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Midway Gardens faced West across the pool, which was surrounded by walls of local fieldstone. The walls that form the pool extended out into the landscape and bound the cottage to its setting.

Two sections of wall were made into an equivalent of Zen garden elements. One section of wall was made into a column backing the statue – the ‘erect’ element of a Zen garden. The other is a long dry stone wall section approximating to the ‘recumbent’ element of a Zen garden.

Inside, the finishes were kept simple and natural. Limestone flooring, plastered walls with rounded corners at junctions, and a single stone wall freestanding inside. Heating was underfloor to obviate radiators.

This project has been featured in a number of magazines including ‘Country Living’, ‘Period House’  ‘Homebuilding and Renovating’ and the Japanese magazine ‘Modern Living’.

This project won an RIBA ‘Town and Country’ award for the best extension in Wessex in 2003.

‘Wessex’ at that time of the award consisted of the counties of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Bristol, Bath and the Channel islands.