STRIKING BUT SUBTLE, A LOW IMPACT MODERNIST HOME
If you’ve always dreamt of building your own home but want to keep living in the same village, you can wait for years for a suitable site to become available (if ever), or you can think laterally. Our clients’ lightbulb moment was when they realised they could build in the garden of their old home. Jonny Marrion was appointed to design the new home but a difficult planning process ensued. In the end the client won on appeal and building could begin.
The home is an eye-catching but understated design inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian houses. Its central structure is a black box that houses the bedrooms and is clad in charred timber, a feature that hardens and preserves the wood. The main living spaces are wrapped around this box, with exposed Douglas fir fascias that will weather as the building ages. Extensive two-tiered flat roofs are planted with wildflowers to help the house blend in with its garden setting.
Open plan living extends seamlessly around the kitchen, an important feature for the clients who love to entertain. Larch cladding reaches to the ceiling in the kitchen and dining room. The airy living room has a 4m high ceiling and full height windows looking out on the garden. High level clerestory glazing allows light deep into the home. The large master bedroom has a wide window seat that makes that most of the views over the orchard beyond.
Other features include rain chains, a turntable in the driveway and very high levels of insulation. At 50% better than building regulations, these have led to minimal running costs.