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MAGENTA BUILDING REPAIR LTD
South Farm, Ansty, Wiltshire. Architect TFH Reeve
When Magenta commenced work at South Farm in Ansty, the pair of cottages that originally stood on the site had been demolished by the client. This left a clear site for a new country house of Approximately three hundred and sixty five square metres. The remit was to build it in two phases: the first being to build the shell and roof, the second to plaster and fit out the inside.
The south and west elevations were to be of the local greenstone with Chilmark stone dressings around the arched headed windows, with a band course around the first floor level plus an offset plinth in Chilmark stone. To achieve the desired effect the quoin stones to the corners and returns to the stone elevations were rusticated.
The brief was to make the building look like it had been sitting in the impressive local landscape for many years without the need for the beholder to question the buildings age. To achieve this the ashlar had slightly rounded edges and was quite heavily batted / tooled over the surface. The greenstone above was bought in as new sawn two sided slabs and then tooled to look something between rough ashlar work and rubble work. Each stone was dimensioned, then carefully fixed into position. The whole project's success was dependent on the quality of the stonework.
The joinery was all fine one off work of period design and proportions, with modern draft seals and glazing. The pine staircase has one central section leading up from the main entrance hall to a half landing, then up on either side to two 90 degree sweeping turns, from the curtail step at the foot to the banistered central landing, a continuous ramp and twist moulded string reaches first floor, accompanied by a solid beech handrail following the string, complete with volutes underneath a sweeping plaster soffit . The roof was covered with hand made clay tiles, with a large area of code eight leadwork in the central valley between the pitched roofs. Magenta designed the proportions and materials of the lime render for the three coat work on the north and east elevations. The designer of the building, Tim Reeve, wanted the render to be of "soft " appearance and to "meld seamlessly into its background ", We believe all the extra attention to detail through out all stages of the build helped achieve an honest and authentic resulting property.
It is important to Magenta that the client gets a good standard of work and a finished product that they like and are proud of. In the case of South Farm the clients were not after the cheapest job possible. They were looking for a high quality of craftsmanship and a building that fitted in with its surroundings at a fair and competitive cost.
Once the work commenced all the craftsmen working on the building had a common goal and knew the standards that had to be met. We believe that this business approach not only reflected in the quality of the finished building but also meant the workers enjoyed the job and had a great pride in what they had achieved.
This is not to say the job was always easy. Because of the high standards expected there were a few occasions when things didn't look right to the team. So, after debate, these areas were worked over or dismantled and started again with new stone and materials, or in some cases redesigned by the architect. We believe that the ability of a company to be self-critical and act on the criticism is essential when working in our field of industry. Magenta owes the success of the finished product to the integrity of the craftsmen it employs.
Magenta Building Repair Ltd - Unit 4, Barnes Croft, Coles Lane, Milborne St. Andrew, Blandford Forum, Dorset. DT11 0LG