By Arabella Younes
Set down a half-mile drive, just outside the town of Beaminster in Dorset, lies what remains of Grade I listed Parnham House. At first sight the John Nash-designed main façade of honey-coloured hamstone walls belies the reality.
In her article about Parnham House, Arabella asked ADAM Architecture director, Hugh Petter, for his insights.
In his 25-year career as an architect specialising in classical and traditional buildings, Hugh Petter of ADAM Architecture has worked on a number of Grade I listed houses. “My clients are all conscious that they are taking on a piece of the nation’s built heritage. What I always say to them is that the reason to buy is because you love it; there has to be a deep emotional connection.”
People often think that it’s impossible to do anything worthwhile with a Grade I listed house because they fall under the watchful eyes of both local conservation offices and Historic England. But this is not actually the case, argues Petter, providing you follow the right path. “I’m a strong advocate of working from the outset in close collaboration with both the local conservation officer and Historic England, evolving the design in concert.” Working this way, he has seemingly managed the impossible by installing lifts, creating family kitchens at the heart of the home, and constructing new outbuildings located next to Grade I listed buildings.