Keeping a low profile

Hugely extending an old cottage, Ladlecombe House takes steps to remain discreet

· Credit: David Russell

The cotswolds have long been a rural retreat for Londoners in particular, and in the early 20th century formed a focus for the arts and crafts movement, from furniture-making to ceramics, cutlery and silverware. These days, however, the area has become a real millionaire’s playground, what with the Camerons and the Clarksons, Hugh Grant, Kate Moss, Lily Allen, artist Jake Chapman (whose house was shortlisted for the Manser Medal in 2010) and endless other celebs living there.

So it’s no surprise to find another Cotswold wonderdwelling on this year’s Manser shortlist (you’ll find the other four elsewhere in this issue). Tucked away in a secret valley against a wooded background, Ladlecombe Cottage started out as a tiny gamekeeper’s retreat and has now been extended massively. David Russell of Found Associates (his boss Richard Found was the client) successfully argued with the planners that the existing (listed) house was just too small to extend in a subordinate fashion. Instead, the design is a large house in the form of a series of terraces and drystone walls, set back into the hillside with grassed roofs. Thus the restored old cottage stands proud, with the new house linked behind it. Truly there’s gold in them thar hills. HP