Meet the Team: James Noble puts a spotlight on homes where old meets new

Providence Chapel, Colerne, Wiltshire
Ibthorpe, Hampshire
Ibthorpe, Hampshire
Crowan, Cornwall
Crowan, Cornwall 
Provender Mill, Bruton, Somerset
Provender Mill, Bruton, Somerset
The Ballroom, Bath 
James at Alvar Aalto's home during The Modern House staff trip to Helsinki, 2018

In our ‘Meet the Team’ series, we’re getting to know The Modern House staff. Here, we’re talking to Appraisals Assistant James Noble about his favourite homes that fuse period charm with contemporary architecture.

James joined The Modern House as a graduate in 2017 after gaining a First Class degree in English and History and a Masters in History, both from the University of Nottingham. It was during his Masters that James developed an interest in design and architecture, writing essays on post-war reconstructionism and brutalism.

Having just moved into a converted Victorian apartment in Dulwich, we thought it appropriate to ask James about his favourite homes sold or for sale via The Modern House in which the old meets the contemporary.

Providence Chapel, Colerne, Wiltshire
“This is so bold and dramatic, but somehow it just works. The new part is so unapologetically of its time that it sits next to the 19th-century chapel in a very honest way.

“I love the silhouette of the extension; it’s so clean and echoes the original lines very directly.”

Ibthorpe, Hampshire
“This was one of the earliest requests that I dealt with, so I have a natural affinity towards it.

“I remember speaking to the owners, who explained that they had a cottage in Hampshire. They sent the photos through and as soon as I opened them I thought, ‘wow, that’s cool’.

“I like how bold the intervention is, but also how it just works. Yes, there is a juxtaposition between the cottage and the extension but it has been done in such an elegant way that they sit harmoniously together. There’s just nothing I don’t like about it.”

Crowan, Cornwall 
“I like how the architects, Amin Taha, basically gutted where the kitchen now is but retained the original stone walls. The modern kitchen is the only contemporary addition to the building but its use of complementary materials and lots of glass make it unobtrusive.

“I like the openness of it and I can imagine sitting at the kitchen table in the morning with a bowl of cereal, feeling quite content.”

Provender Mill, Bruton, Somerset
“I first saw this in ‘The Modern House’ book, and it stuck out as something that was really stunning. It sits quite strikingly in the landscape, but not because it’s a new eyesore that some developer has stuck up in the middle of the countryside.

“The building has existed since the 1940s, so I like how they took what was already there and reimagined it in a sensitive way, retaining the proportions and scale. Plus, Bruton has got loads going on these days.”

The Ballroom, Bath
“The simplicity of this space is great. It proves that you just need to let the original features of a building speak for themselves, and make as minimal additions as possible.

“It’s very simple and precise, and the volumes are really generous. You wouldn’t necessarily expect that from a period property, so I like how it’s been adapted to cater for a very modern interpretation of living.”

If you’re interested in joining The Modern House team, explore our currently available opportunities here.

Read more: My Modern House: scientist Katy Davison on the design of Terrazzo House, her refurbished family home in Islington

Meet the Team: Corey Hemingway’s favourite mid-century homes

Related stories