The site for this contemporary replacement dwelling sits within an 11 acre estate situated in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. When we were first approached the estate consisted of a bungalow (the main residence on the site), several outbuildings and a recently converted barn.
The existing bungalow had been much altered but it was dark internally and of poor quality construction. It had little architectural merit and did not contribute positively to its setting or the AONB.
Our clients contacted us because they recognised the way in which our home environment can affect our day to day lives and admired other projects in our portfolio. They also appreciated the value of high quality design in creating a bespoke new home which was to cater for a busy family and social life.
The replacement dwelling was designed as a simple rectilinear form with clean lines, crisp glazing and contemporary, machined timber cladding. A change in height between the two main elements (the feature kitchen/living/dining room and the rest of the house) adds interest both internally and externally, and high quality detailing has resultedt in a home of exceptional quality in terms of both aesthetics and performance.
Sweet chestnut timber cladding was specified in order to relate the house closely to its context as existing outbuildings are clad in timber (albeit traditional in style) and the site includes an area of woodland. The cladding profile is a contemporary take on more traditional applications in the area - over time it will weather to a natural silver and soften visually against the backdrop of vegetation that surrounds it.
The building has been constructed to produce an exceptionally fuel-efficient and comfortable home – with underfloor heating throughout it is highly insulated with a ‘fabric first’ approach to sustainability including high performance windows. The site is off-grid and air-source heat pumps provide a marked improvement in heating efficiency when compared to oil and LPG.