House M – Contemporary Single Storey Dwelling
New build residence, garage and light touch site landscaping.
The development to provide:
- Modest scale in modern vernacular forms to suit the rural setting;
- Internal look to be light & bright with modern detailing;
- High performance envelope with renewable technologies;
- Open plan living/kitchen/dining;
- Seperate sitting room;
- multi-functional room;
- Primary bedroom to have wardrobe and ensuite and roof light for star gazing;
- Family/visitor bathroom;
- Utility with WC and shower;
- Modest shed/garage;
- Discreet parking area;
Design preference for modern vernacular forms, materials and sustainability. External materials to combine a mixture of natural stone and render. Enhance site and setting with indigenous planting. Maximise solar gains. Maximise the views to the south facing agricultural fields and rolling.
As the new dwelling is to be constructed on the family landholding surrounded by mature hedgerows and undulating agricultural fields, the setting of the site is distinct and should be sensitively treated.
As such, our thoughts for the new dwellings evolved around the following concepts:
- The house takes its form from the traditional ‘cottage’ aesthetic whereby the building nestles into the site and appears to have evolved organically over time;
- Finishes take their cue from traditional materials but with a contemporary twist so as to connect with the site context and agricultural setting;
- The transition between inside and outside for the main spaces is blurred with outdoor living promoted;
- Spaces arranged according to the sun path and natural body cycle;
- Clear spatial hierarchy between rooms through the use of differing floor/ceiling heights and volumes.
House HN responds to its place both in terms of its form and choice of materials. The use of material and colour in particular relate to the agricultural setting. The white rendered finish echoes the traditional whitewashed lime rendered cottages prevalent in this part of the country. The use of zinc on the inter-connecting canopies is also a subtle nod to the metal-clad local farm buildings. The often-forgotten flush eaves detail along the gables mimic those of the traditional cottage, helping to maintain clean lines. The kitchen/dining/living spaces are located to maximise natural light and to capture the extensive views of the landscape thus, reinforcing its position as the heart of the home.
The design principles and conceptual ideas outlined in the development sketches section start with making the appropriate response to both site context and materials. The house is orientated to enable daylight to flood into the home whilst following the site contours.
The geometry of the plan takes inspiration from the traditional ‘cottage’ expanded over time. The sleeping spaces, located to the west with views to the east shelters the main living spaces from prevailing winds. The heart of the home, containing the main living spaces is orientated to face south with far reaching vistas over the countryside. The sleeping and living bars have slightly different fenestration patterns to address the functionality requirements between the private and the more open family spaces. This also creates a subtle individuality between the bars whilst maintaining a collective language.
The site entrance is located further down the site with a short driveway screened with planting meanders towards the house and parking area. The field entrance is maintained for practical purposes and skirts along the north of the site.
All design decisions centre around creating a family focused home that underlines the deep rooted relationship with the land.
The open plan kitchen, dining and living spaces are arranged to maximise natural light and views. The generous kitchen has a large island and is in close proximity to the utility/laundry room.
The informal living room is located just off the kitchen/dining area and has the option of being the muti-functional room. A seperate sitting room located directly opposite is spacious yet cosy and has the option of being closed off on winter nights.
The kitchen, dining and living spaces are located on entry level with the bedrooms accessed via a short flight of steps. This change of level is a response to the natural contours but also provides a discrete transition between public (living) and private (sleeping) spaces.
The sleeping zone has 3No. bedrooms and a family bathroom. The master suite has a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite. The windows are arranged to frame scenic views but also to utilise solar gains as a free heat source.
Total floor area = 162m² (approx.)