Black House (2017) by AR Design Studio, located in Hampshire, United Kingdom | The Hardt
Black House (2017) by AR Design Studio, located in Hampshire, United Kingdom. Black House is a private new build house in Kent, completed in the summer of 2017 by Winchester- based architects AR Design Studio. A contemporary property, Black House draws its influences from both the historic and modern buildings of Kent. A retired engineer and Conran interior designer, the clients, chose to move from a 15th century Tudor house and build a contemporary dream home in their garden. The building’s concept was formed after the design team and clients embarked on an architectural tour in Kent, in search of inspiration from the land and local context. The floating form and massing of Black House were inspired by Sissinghurst Castle Garden, home of writer Vita Sackville-West. The castle gardens are broken into a series of individual experiences hidden from each other by manicured hedges and weathered red brick walls. Only from the writing room in the central tower can the connection of the spaces and whole design be seen.
The Black House rectangular massing was divided into blocks by key site axes, a view from the pool to a large populous tree, and a previous path to the site. Each block is linked to a distinct aspect of the garden, with a final connecting view provided from the roof of a brick tower. The volumes were separated to create a central courtyard, with a cantilevering roof to tie the modules together. The design team also viewed Hasting’s historic net huts and the traditional black-clad houses of Dungeness. As a response, a vertical black timber cladding is used throughout. Visiting the interlocking volumes of the Turner Contemporary Gallery, in Margate, by David Chipperfield Architects, informed the studio how to interconnect the low massing of the black timber boxes and the brick tower.
With each block linking to a different part of the garden, a journey around the functions of the house is experienced. The journey begins with one of the three entrances, designed along the axes of the building. The kitchen diner is a 24 ft (7.3m) cantilevering room facing east to capture the morning sun. With floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, the orientation provides expansive views across the orchard and vineyard. The drawing room fronts the pool area to the west, two spaces linked to accommodate rest and play. A panoramic horizontal window influenced by Margate frames the view from the formal dining room across the formal front lawn. The final aspect is the bedrooms, they are provided privacy and seclusion by the proximity of the woodland to the rear of the house.
These spaces are all connected by the central courtyard, an area of extensive glazing allowing light and fresh air to continually penetrate the house, and provide year-round sheltered outdoor space. Having constructed the house, the clients have chosen contemporary living over historical, a building designed for them, to suit the way they want to live today. The result is Black House, a sequence of dramatic experiences linked to their garden, and is a contemporary response to the region.
Located in Winchester, United Kingdom, The Glass House (2013) by AR Design Studio | The Hardt
Located in Winchester, United Kingdom, The Glass House (2013) by AR Design Studio. It is not every day that a body is found buried on your building site, but on a summer’s morning in 2012 this is exactly what happened while builders were laying foundations for RIBA award-winning architects AR Design Studio’s latest project. By 6 pm they had found another 2. After the initial astonishment, the Police and later a team of Archaeologists were brought in who thankfully identified the remains as being of Roman origin. After a period of intense excavation, it was confirmed as a site of Archaeological importance when further evidence of Roman burials and defensive fortifications were uncovered, including the discovery of a rare Roman burial urn. Once the site was cleared of artifacts and the bodies taken to the local museum for research, work on the building could continue.
These ancient findings further added to the already rich historical context of the property situated in the town of Winchester, the old Roman capital of England. The project was to convert the original servants’ quarters of the large Manor House that overlooked the surrounding grasslands. It was built by the Earl of Airlie in 1856 while he served as Camp Commandant at the nearby Peninsular Barracks military base and split into two more modestly sized dwellings in the 1950s. Since then, the servants’ quarters had fallen into a state of disrepair after the unfortunate passing of a sole elderly owner. It remained vacant for a number of years until the long-time occupants of the Manor House sought to retire and move into the more manageable servants’ quarters and turn it into their dream home.
The owner’s love of glass fuelled their brief to construct a beautifully simple sculptural glass staircase and a contemporary glass extension, situated at the rear of the property in the space created by the ‘C’ shape of the building, which would open itself up to the garden. The couple approached AR Design Studio Chartered Architects because of their experience in dealing with glass architecture and their interest in how this material can be used to create seamless relationships between inside and outside space, between the man-made and nature.
Hidden from view behind the buildings traditional façade, the finished extension is an elegant piece of modern contemporary glass architecture. It completely reinvents the feel and atmosphere of the previously dark and cramped servants’ quarters; all within the rich and poignant historical context of the site. The concept was to provide a clean and light architectural intervention alongside the traditional shell of the building which would positively affect the feel and functionality of the property. The spaces are designed to accentuate a play between light and dark; contrasting from the bright and open communal spaces to the more subtle and secluded, almost cave-like retreat spaces in the old house.
The existing layout was clarified; vertical voids were cut through the house to unite the cellar, ground and first floors and redirect the flow of the house to naturally draw the user towards the new glass space at the heart of the home. This extremely light and spacious frameless glass extension houses the open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas. As the delicate structure reaches over to form the walls and roof of the extension, it creates a flexible inside/outside space allowing sunlight to flood through the home and filter down gradually, creating beautiful shards of light and shadow.
As a contrast to the extension, the formal lounge, study, and dining room have a more sheltered and embracing nature. Upstairs, the Glass House has 4 large double bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom. The master suite has its own walk-in wardrobe and views overlooking the garden and the top of the glass extension below. All the essentials have been accounted for, in the form of utility and laundry rooms, study and WC that flank the glass box. The strategic placement of the large roof light floods the entrance hall with sunlight that tracks through the double-height space with the time of day and the seasons.
Timber ceramic tiling was used as an innovative alternative to traditional timber flooring because it does not discolor in the weather and is a perfect surface to compliment the underfloor heating throughout. This allowed for a seamless floor finish running from the inside to the outside onto the cantilevered patio. The rest of the house is finished with a minimal and clean appearance to allow the functional glass structures to stand out as exquisite pieces of sculptural art in their own right. Whilst still retaining a subtle street appearance, the finished property now renamed Clarkes, is completely transformed from its previous gloomy and decrepit nature. The modern renovation and extension create a light, airy and open living environment bursting with traditional values, contemporary style, and innovative design.
The Crow’s Nest by AR Design Studio situated in Hampshire, United Kingdom | The Hardt
The Crow’s Nest by AR Design Studio situated in Hampshire, United Kingdom. AR Design Studio was approached by the clients who were looking to extend their holiday home on a cliff top on the South Coast. Halfway through the planning process, the existing house catastrophically broke in half one night during a landslip. AR Design Studio was then tasked with designing a completely new home; the idea of movement and fracturing formed the backbone of the concept. Working closely with engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, an imaginative structural solution was proposed to prevent future failure. A concrete slab was built into the ground, a series of strategically placed dwarf walls were then built on top of it. A floating structural frame was then laid on top of the walls to act as an adjustable raft in case of future movement. Beneath the frame, there are specific places for mechanical jacks to be positioned so that the house can be securely re-leveled.
The design concept starts as a traditional cabin-like-form that then splits, twists and rotates, resulting in four pods. The outcome is a beautifully haphazard rough-sawn larch clad house that silhouettes against the wooded backdrop. The clearly defined entrance pod, the smallest of the four, guides you through the hallway into the central pod; the main living space comprising of kitchen, dining and living room. The extensive sliding glass draws one into the stunning coastline setting, with uninterrupted views of the English Channel beyond a floating timber deck. The tower pod houses the large open plan master suite, situated on the first floor above a children’s bedroom, utility room and shower room on the ground floor. The right-hand pod, at the opposite end of the house, consists of the guest quarters; a bedroom, two bunk rooms, and a bathroom. This entire section of the house can be closed off when not required. The result is a playful and calm space for the owners to enjoy weekends with family and friends whilst taking in the spectacular and isolated location in which it sits.