THE ORANGERY RENOVATION
McCloy + Muchemwa
BRETT MARTIN, Rust Oleum, The Hairpin Leg Co., Trimform
Norwich, United Kingdom
DESIGN AND FABRICATION
Steve Mccloy, Bongani Muchemwa
McCloy + Muchemwa has designed and renovated a dilapidated and asbestos-riddled garage in Norwich with self-build clients.
The existing garage was dark, dusty, cluttered, and had issues with pests; making it virtually unusable as well as being visibly unattractive.
With weekends-away and holidays cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic pent-up energy was released onto the garden and into making the garage safer, functioning better, and be a more enjoyable space with generous and considered storage solutions.
Here, removing the damaged and asbestos-containing roof was the first priority. However, this presented an opportunity to boldly re-configure the building and garden.
The project included myriad options within the relatively small budget that would require imagination, recycled materials + lateral thinking.
The project's sustainability lies in re-use; improvements to the existing structure promise to extend the working life of the building and have been undertaken to reduce the waste taken off-site.
The internal timber structure was largely sound, if a little haphazard, so to minimise the quantity of new materials added, a 'surgical' approach to refurbishment was chosen.
Rotten sections of timber were replaced where leaks had occurred, and all the structure was treated and sealed with exterior grade paint.
Tool storage, planters, and workbenches made from upcycled furniture and recycled building materials are designed to be raised off the floor, moveable and reconfigurable.
A naturally lit interior provides a workspace for messy hobbies like bike maintenance, DIY, and pottery with electricity generated on-site by solar panels.
Wall-hung storage racking, shelves, and even the metal stool are supplied in robust designs that fit the orange and black colour scheme.
Cabinets are fitted with heavy-duty orange castors whilst workbenches are supported on easy-to-fit hairpin legs.
The new timber-framed greenhouse/orangery supports the owners’ vegetable patches and fruit trees in providing home-grown food, whilst the water-collecting pergola offers both shelter and shade.
The interventions have resulted in a positive lifestyle change for the owners, who now spend much of their free time relaxing, eating meals, and entertaining outdoors.
The project was designed so that the DIY build could happen in small phases over non-consecutive weekends (and between lockdowns).
The size and type of metal roofing panels were selected to reduce safety risks and minimise the number of joints.
The greenhouse is fabricated as easy-to-lift lightweight frames which are offered up and fixed into place from below; reducing working height (and use of ladders) significantly.
The profiled black cladding prevents further weathering of the roof and walls, while visually it provides a high-contrast backdrop that emphasises the colours of the garden.
A Richard Rogers-inspired bright orange paint colour makes the seven-metre span of the pergola's steel beam really 'pop', and for the interior, is used again to enhance visual coherence across many individual details.
A triangular motif repeats throughout the project too; from the structural expression down to small details such as the shelf brackets.