The Watson House

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Location: Boldre, New Forest, UK

Client: Charles + Fiona Watson

Project Year: 2011

Cost: £500k - £2m

This resulted in the idea of a simple, linear, single-storey form that ‘touches the earth lightly’. The timber structure is slightly lifted off the ground to float across the site in a north-south orientation. Within this simple form, a switchback plan provides bedrooms that face east to the rising sun at one end and living spaces that face west to the other, with entrance and service rooms between the two. A transverse wall segregates a gravelled arrival court and cars from the garden and living spaces beyond.
Large openings to the living area and bedrooms are deeply recessed to avoid summer solar gains, while allowing gains and good daylight quality in winter. A master bedroom suite occupies the northern end of the house beyond a large brick chimney that pins the house to the earth.
The floor, walls and roof of the house are formed in cross-laminated prefabricated timber panels, externally insulated and clad in open sweet chestnut strips. Dark Danish linear bricks that have a similar proportion to the house itself form the chimney and plinth.
The objective was to make a modern architecture that echoes the character of a ‘rural vernacular’ to make a positive yet discrete impact on the site – both environmentally and visually.

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The living spaces

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hearth, home and trees

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Bedrooms on the eastern side

Post Image The horizontal against the vertical