The brief was to create a unique 4000 sq. ft. house with a contemporary appearance and a distinctive ‘wow’ factor both inside and out. The site lies within an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’ and it was crucial that the design enhanced the setting rather than detract from the local character.
The Client has a geological background and asked us to take inspiration from the physical formation of the landscape in the area. With this in mind, the design draws from the Cretaceous chalk which underlies the whole of the Chilterns as well as vast areas of Southern England, with its most famous outcrop at the White Cliffs of Dover. In many places the chalk strata are uplifted, folded and buckled and it is precisely this that motivates the design in which blocks of rock are juxtaposed and impinge one another.
The house is composed of white rendered blocks which link over a traditional ‘knapped flint wall’. Large areas of glazing overlook the spectacular views and establish a physical connection between the building interior and the wider landscape itself. The design incorporates the latest energy saving technologies, including the use of a ground source heat pump to provide the majority of heating and hot water needs.