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Raised on steel columns to avoid seasonal flooding of the site, the house hovers above the flood plain on the banks of the river Loddon near Wargrave.
The brief split the house into three distinct zones; an open living space; a guest room/ gym area; and a bedroom area.
We based our concept on these three elements to create wings that adopt a pinwheel form. The whole ensemble is raised up on columns to deal with seasonal flooding to a depth of just over one metre. The house occupies roughly the same position as the existing and is set parallel to the river but as the plot twists towards the lane, arrival is angled around an entrance court.
A dark zinc-clad wing is pushed forward to receive an entrance staircase that slices up into an open hood that is timber lined, with a glazed room to the side containing guest suite that doubles up as a gym. The stair arrives onto a balcony, with a pivoting door leading into a central hall space – this is the day room, dedicated to outdoor living and leads out onto a large deck, complete with hot tub beneath a zinc canopy.
To one side of the central element is a long, open living wing, resting on a cantilevered steel table that frames parking space. This is a cedar-clad element, with full height glazed wall onto a balcony to the river facade and a zinc and glass bay onto the north, garden facade.
The space is divided into kitchen/dining areas with a timber storage unit to the far end concealing study. To the other side is a cubic bedroom block stood on spindly columns. Again, cedar-clad this contains bathrooms and two bedrooms to the lower level and a top-floor master bedroom eerie.
The house is steel framed with timber stud infill; cedar and zinc-clad with aluminium-framed windows (frameless glazing to gym area) and single-ply roofing.
The house is run by a computerised building management system that controls not just heating demands, but also lighting, solar control and audio-visual installations. The walls, floors and roofs are highly insulated using sheep’s wool insulation to create a highly efficient home.
The house continues our interest in natural materials that weather well and an architecture that seeks an embrace and celebration of nature.