Parts of the coastline of Suffolk lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or AONB. These are areas of countryside in England, Wales or Northern Ireland that have been designated for conservation due to their significant landscape value. Building on one of these sensitive sites requires consideration for the natural environment, and taking full advantage of their beauty. After the existing home of this 2.5ha property burnt down 8 years ago, Strom Architects have now been commissioned to build this new country home with a design that drew inspiration from the 'long' cottages found in the local area. By using an elongated design that makes full use of the available space, the occupants are offered a feeling of seclusion and privacy, in a home that lets them relax, regenerate and be creative.
Out of respect of the current site, as well as a way to deal with the potential flood risk, the house has been raised slightly, giving it the feeling of effortlessly floating above the ground. The shape is very linear, in strong contrast to the soft curves of the mature oak trees, providing a very strong presence amongst the foliage.
Rather than removing the existing ruins, Strom have chosen to incorporate them into their design, almost making a feature out of them, rather than trying to hide the past. The new building is orientated to the west-south-west, sitting above the ruins creating a clear juxtaposition of geometry between the new and old.
Although the home adopts a linear form and is inspired by the long cottages scattered throughout the Suffolk countryside, this new home has a small second storey, which is where you will find the master bedroom. As evidenced better in this image, it is actually protrudes from the east and west facing sides of the home, to reduce the scale and appearance of the building when viewed from afar. Here we see the expanse of the site, and the home itself. Nature is forever visible from the living areas; floor-to-ceiling glass dominates this side of the home.
When viewed from either end, the linear form of the house is more noticeably visible, as we see timber introduced in response to the woodlands that surround the site. You can also now see the ruins a little better, and how a small deck has been built to highlight them.
Afternoon light enters the home from early afternoon creating a serene mood, only further enhanced by the simple and minimal interior, neutral tones, and soft textures.
The length of the house is accentuated by the interior furnishings. Here, we see the long kitchen island and dining table that make perfect use of the interior space. We can just imagine how nice a summer's evening would be spent wining and dining with friends and family.
The crafty design of the architects allows the modern home to appear as though it is floating above the ground, only further achieved by building the small deck that juts out over the ruins slightly below level of the house itself. The clean crisp lines and minimal, neutral spirit of the home ensures it will remain contemporary and fresh for years to come, and will stay a private oasis for the owners who are lucky enough to own such a beautiful home in an AONB.