A hidden modern treasure

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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Tucked away in a pocket of lush greenery on the edge of the Solent, we find an impressive example of modern architecture, exuding a tangible air of mystery. The black exterior gives little away in regards to the treasures within, and leads us wonder whether the interior is as bold and dramatic as the outer layer. The home is a creation of The Manser Practice Architects and Designers, in partnership with structural engineers Malcolm Woodruff and Elliott Wood. The owners purchased the land on which the house sits for a reduced rate, as it was believed the land was 'too difficult to build on'. Proving everyone wrong, the resourceful team approached the challenge with creativity, and the finished result speaks for itself. Let's take a look.

Into the unknown…

The exterior is striking; it could even be considered imposing, yet the reflective high gloss painted cladding allows it to blend in and connect with its surroundings. The material reflects light so that the dark colours don't appear oppressive, and the colours of the surrounding landscape are also reflected off the surface, bringing the design to life. A façade that captures and reflects the changing of the seasons is certainly novel, but as you will soon discover, this house benefits from more than just one innovative design feature.

An idyllic location

The blue of the strait and vibrant green of the trees makes for a perfect, calming setting. The property is set back a little from the river, and as you can see, it enjoys beautiful views without compromising the privacy of the occupants. It might seem as though the serene location and picturesque landscape is the biggest advantage of living here, but just take a look at the interior.

A dynamic living space

The living area is comprised of various angles and levels, which creates a puzzling aesthetic, almost like an optical illusion. Creating texture and layers with a minimalist colour palette and limited decorations is typical in modern and minimalist design. The Manser Practice Architects and Designers have created a space that both conforms to these rules, but still looks unique. The artworks hanging on the walls introduce colour and character to the monochrome space, and each piece is illuminated by the scores of natural light entering through the full-length glass doors. 

What a view!

From this perspective, we can appreciate just how spectacular the location actually is. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors lead out to the balcony, and can be fully opened to merge the indoor and outdoor spaces. Natural light has been maximised inside the home, with contemporary skylights working to the same effect as the doors. Light timber floorboards and furniture create a modern but relaxed vibe that complements the location, and a splash of colour is introduced in the form of an 80's style rug.

At the back of the room, a glossy kitchen is all kitted out for the chef of the family to whip up a storm. Wine coloured panels have been paired with stainless steel appliances for an edgy look that avoids looking cold, as modern kitchens often can. 

The bathroom

The bathroom is bright and spacious, and you will no doubt have noticed the location of the bath tub straight away. Placed directly in front of the window, the occupants can feel at one with nature as they take a long relaxing soak. Thanks to the trees, and the relatively private position of the river-facing house, the occupants don't have to worry about startling passers-by! Peace, privacy and tranquillity are what this space is all about.

If you've enjoyed this project, take a look at the following ideabook:  Paradise for an art lover.

What do you think of this daring new build? Leave a comment and let us know
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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