31/44 were invited by Jantje Engels and Marius Grootveld of Veldwerk – in collaboration with Drawing Matter and the Architecture Foundation – to be one of eighty practices across the UK and Europe to reimagine and model an ‘alternative history’ for an assigned building, working from an original drawing from the Drawing Matter archive. We were to imagine the next iteration of the evolving design and work in collaboration with the original architect. We found ourselves working alongside Sir William Butterfield on Heath’s Court, Ottery St Mary, the house he significantly extended for one of Britain’s wealthiest families.

We imagined a series of additions to this extravagant stately home such that it would be fit-for-purpose for the same family today. We transformed Butterfield’s decorative techniques: diapered brickwork was scaled up to define the geometric plan relationship of the new additions relative to the old; delicate quatrefoil details were extruded into columns such that void became solid.

Butterfield’s decorative work determines the interventions at all scales, producing a thorough work where new and old is bound together yet somehow distinct.