Skywood House by Graham Phillips, situated in Denham just outside of London, UK | The Hardt
Skywood House by Graham Phillips, situated in Denham just outside of London, UK. The main living space – a double square in plan with a high frame-less glass wall – faces west over the lake. The rectangular form of the glass box is continued by the clerestory windows that run along the tops of the walls that extend towards the lake and the landscape. The bedrooms each have a built-in desk surface and overlook the walled garden. A perimeter of black basalt gravel borders the green lawn. The magnolia tree was preserved in its original position and became central to the garden space. The bedrooms each have a built-in desk surface and overlook the walled garden. A perimeter of black basalt gravel borders the green lawn.The magnolia tree was preserved in its original position and became central to the garden space. The bedrooms have no sliding doors, only frameless glass panels to maximize the view
Westbourne Grove (2012) by Russell Jones located in London, United Kingdom. The initial brief for a largely unrefurbished Victorian house on the South Side of London’s Westbourne Grove, centered around establishing a new family home for two adults and their young children. During the course of the project, the family expanded from two children to four. Behind the original façade, the buildings circulation, rear form, and fenestration limited the development of a new section able to generate enough space for a growing family. The resulting project involved the complete demolition of all original accommodation behind the front façade, and substantial excavation to facilitate the new proposal.
The original half landing and cross wall configuration was superseded by vertically stacked circulation over six levels, and more generously proportioned and planned spaces. The living and dining area, over two levels, are linked by a double height gallery and motorized door, which opens directly onto a rear courtyard. Family accommodation extends beyond the new lower ground level up to the Westbourne Grove pavement.
Level 1 is dedicated to the Master suite, with the upper levels accommodating the 4 children. The carefully considered simple palette of materials has been chosen to absorb and reflect light and provide continuous surfaces for the client’s substantial art collection. Florentine Pietra Serena limestone is used throughout the living spaces and bathrooms, and grey oiled Oak is the primary floor surface in all bedrooms.
Hurst House (2012) by John Pardey Architects + Ström Architects located in The UK | The Hardt
Hurst House (2012) by John Pardey Architects + Ström Architects located in The UK.The Hurst House is a new build one-off contemporary house located on the edge of the village of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire. The site forms part of a garden of a substantial house located on the edge of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire, directly fronting an area of open fields that form part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty (There are currently 33 AONB designations within England). The clients’ brief was to build a very sustainable and contemporary family home that would have the flexibility to successfully cope with changing family conditions as their children grow up and leave the nest. This lead to a house where they can live in one extended space while family bedrooms can be shut down and left on tick-over.
A masonry rectangular volume on the ground floor contains bedrooms and is slightly sunken into the ground to reduce the height of the building towards the AONB. A lightweight steel and timber volume at the first floor is set perpendicular to the ground floor volume and contains living, kitchen and dining spaces, as well as the master bedroom suite. It rests on top of the ground floor volume and spans across to a masonry wall that defines the southern edge of the house. A rectangular service element underneath the first-floor sleeve – separated by a clear-storey – defines an entrance lobby with vertical circulation to one side as well as a carport to the other. This arrangement of space allows for a self-contained bedroom wing for children (teenagers) that opens up to a south-facing courtyard, whilst the first-floor volume allows living spaces and master bedroom to make the most of the site with its incredible views of the rolling landscape of the AONB to the west.
A linear balcony along the length of the first floor allows the facade to open up, and the recessed floor to ceiling glazed sliding panels to be shaded in the summer. At the southern end of the first-floor volume, the glazing is pulled back to create an outdoor living area which is open to both the east and the west allowing the sun to reach it at different times of the day. The environmental impact of the house was considered from the outset, and we were aiming to get very close to being a zero carbon home.
The building utilises very high levels of insulation. A small highly efficient gas boiler, together with heat recovery ventilation, rainwater recycling, solar water heating, a 10kW wood burner and a 9.9kWp photovoltaic installation, and low energy fittings throughout, ensure the property has an overall near zero CO2 impact rating. (We are yet to carry out the as built environmental performance calculations, to establish the exact CO2 impact of the property.) Since the building was connected to services, it has generated 25% more electricity than has been used.
We employed high-quality natural materials that enhance and harmonizes with the site; local Weston Underwood coursed stone to ground floor walls, and the upper floor element is clad in British Sweet Chestnut, which weathers to a natural silver color and will last for many centuries without further maintenance. To the garden side, panels of pre-weathered zinc, set within the timber sleeve are employed. These materials will all weather naturally and blend harmoniously with the site and surroundings.
John Pardey Architects and Strom Architects worked in collaboration to see this building completed. When Magnus Strom left his job as a Director of JPA in 2010 to set up his own practice, John and Magnus decided that it would be beneficial for the project, if Magnus continued working with the detail and construction side of the project as well as overseeing it on site. This collaboration ensured a continuity of the project and has resulted in a strong design that has been detailed with great care and finished to an extraordinary quality.
Situated in the UK, Jura (2016) by Lewandowski Architects | The Hardt
Situated in the UK, Jura (2016) by Lewandowski Architects. Jura is a fine example of contemporary architecture that breaks the mold in an almost entirely traditional architectural context. The Wentworth Estate, home to the world famous Wentworth Golf Club, was originally conceived in the 1920’s by the renowned builder and developer W.G Tarrant and comprises architecture ranging in style from Arts and Crafts to neo-Georgian. Most newly constructed properties on the Estate, be they privately commissioned or developments, are designed in a traditional pastiche. This is largely due to fear of the unknown and risk of jeopardizing future values. Jura looks to set a precedent on the Estate of how good quality, contemporary architecture can maximize the opportunities of a site in both design approach and planning terms.
The design vision for the house was to create a series of moments capturing vistas both inside and outside, offering a textural and inspiring journey through the building. As you approach the building you are greeted with a natural stone façade, replicating the craftsmanship and grandeur of its more traditional peers on the estate, whilst the crisp clean lines and glimpses of what happens behind begin to reveal its true identity. The sound of falling water and ability to touch and feel the natural stone as you arrive at the entrance encourages and stimulates the experience.
The plan consists of two wings of accommodation that are connected across all three floors via a central link/bridge. This link provides not only a functional and physical connection between spaces but allows the users to always feel connected to one another by sound and sight; this connectivity of the senses can often be missing in larger properties but was key to creating a building that could function as a home. The property offers three floors of living accommodation; two floors above ground and a substantially lower ground floor which is flooded with natural light, measuring approximately 2000 sqm in total. The site offers just over 5 acres of land which is again unique for the location. A large challenge with this project, which has been built to the highest specification, was to design not only the external appearance but also the interior spaces with a very discerning ‘virtual client’ in mind. As such all spaces were consciously designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible while remaining honest to the contemporary roots of the architecture.
The clean and contemporary lines, enhanced by the natural limestone walls and full height glazing, offer a perfect complement to the soft natural wooded surroundings. The stone walls are accompanied by areas of Iroko cladding, a hardwood that will offer durability and elegance while providing a finish that matures and mellows as the building settles into its new surroundings. High performance and ultra slim profile glass sliding doors are used extensively throughout to maximize natural light and offer panoramic views over the surrounding grounds. The result is an elegant and modern home, carefully conceived and crafted to respond to the site’s individual features and the potential end user.
Located in Greater London, United Kingdom, Blackbox (2013) by Form Art Architects | The Hardt
Located in Greater London, United Kingdom, Blackbox (2013) by Form Art Architects. The idea of the mews served as the starting point for Blackbox in more ways than just its physical location. In contrast to the traditional mews architecture of solid brick enclosures with tiny windows and little daylight, this design is filled with light, but still respects the contextual language of a ‘solid box’. The design features of the entrance courtyard and staircase in this instance are key for the purpose of generating light into the heart of the house. As a result of the physical area given over to the courtyard, the ephemeral qualities created are ‘borrowed’ back so to speak. This essentially refers to the light and views, with the staircase serving as a journey up Blackbox right through to the skylight. This can best be described as the layering of views and the ‘bouncing’ of light within the house.
Simultaneously developed as a house gallery and vice versa, the design is a continuation of Form_art’s work with artists and galleries, namely their current engagement with the Tate. The volume of space carved out by expressing the brickwork enclosure enables the inside to hold a pure white ‘floating’ box, suspended to further express the interior’s language of ‘objects’.
The project serves as a testimony to Form_art’s working ethos of generating work to test and develop ideas. This process provides Form_art with complete artistic freedom as designer and client and hence, there is an uncompromised approach from initial design through to completion.
Church Hill Barn Church Hill Barn (2016) by David Nossiter Architects located in Suffolk, United Kingdom. The site, situated on the Essex/Suffolk borders within the landscape immortalized by Constable was originally the home farm of the nearby estate, destroyed by fire in the 1950s. It consists of a collection of farm buildings forming a courtyard. The centerpiece of the site with views over the rural landscape is a large barn of cathedral-like proportions.
Cruciform in plan with a collection of smaller spaces surrounding it, the arrangement sought to provide shelter for different farming activities under a single roof. The barn complex is the legacy of the model farm movement. The clients purchased the buildings in a dilapidated condition. Having sold their own property in nearby Colchester they decided to reside in a caravan on the site during the build. David had worked on a previous project and was the natural choice of architect.
The barn is a Listed structure and the contemporary refurbishment required lengthy agreements with the local planning authorities. A large component of the renovations consisted of the refurbishment of the roof. Roofing slates and timber materials were salvaged from the other agricultural structures on the site that were too decayed to be usefully renovated. In order to allow the existing structure to be viewed internally but still conform to modern standards of thermal performance, the roof is a ‘warm roof construction’ meaning that all of the insulation is located on the exterior of the roof above a new timber deck.
The external walls were insulated with sheep’s wool and clad with larch timber, which has been left to weather naturally. The original openings have been simply fenestrated with glazing set back from the external wall line. Oversized bespoke glazed sliding doors fill the hipped gable porches, allowing views from the courtyard towards open fields. Two 10 foot (3 meter) square roof lights allow daylight deep into the interior of the eight-meter tall central spaces. It was decided early on during the design process to keep the spaces as open plan as possible. Where necessary partitions and screens are designed as overscaled freestanding furniture. Constructed from birch faced plywood sheets, they organize the spaces, providing privacy for bathrooms and sleeping areas.
A reminder of the barn’s agricultural past, lighting is operated using existing switch boxes and concealed within the existing structure, existing metal grilles and new joinery. Polished concrete flooring flows throughout with .4 inches (10mm) floor joints aligning with the spatial demarcation. A biomass boiler is assisted by a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system that recirculates warm air stacking in the taller spaces. Landscaping and planting reflect the internal spaces and is kept simple with wildflower planting and brick paving salvaged from the existing barn complex.
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.
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