Home which exploited the views from beautiful site to the maximum
The bold design for Nick and Charlotte Crichton, in an area characterized by large period homes set in generous gardens, was bound to create some controversy: the Crichtons wanted a home that was uncompromisingly contemporary, a home which exploited the views from the beautiful site to the maximum. The existing house and adjacent garages set the rules for where the house was to be placed, but that is where the similarity to the existing was to end. As the site is in the green belt, there were strict regulations on any replacement dwelling proposed…
A run down chalet-style bungalow was replaced with a flat roofed contemporary Baufritz home. Using a mixture of timber cladding and white render, the home sits comfortably in the beautiful surroundings. The approach is down a private road through mature trees which form a perfect backdrop—this ensures the house is private and does not compromise views of any of the surrounding neighbours in any way. What sets this site apart however are the stunning long views as the land gently falls away towards the south.
On the eastern façade is a sculptural element adding an artistic twist to the design: along with the corner window to the dining room and the projecting balcony to the main bedroom, the façade of the building is made rich and interesting in its composition. Close scrutiny of the larch cladding and render arrangement is also warranted: by having both vertical and horizontal divisions of these materials, the various elements of façade or divisions of the home internally are gently suggested making the building's design intention easy to read and appreciate.
The entrance to House Crichton is on the north façade and one is not immediately aware of the views as you approach along the driveway behind the home. As you enter through generous wooden doors, you are immediately struck by the views beyond as you enter right into the heart of their home. The House Designer has clearly considered all aspects of the site whilst carefully answering a demanding client brief.
What sold the idea of a Baufritz home to the Crichtons was not only the leading sustainability and eco-credentials of a leading German house manufacturer, but also their uncompromising approach to detail. The Crichtons too have an incredible eye for detail and this meant they kept The House Designers as well as the building team on their toes! The home is a marriage of Modern Methods of Construction and traditional carpentry techniques, and by exploiting the best of both worlds result in a stunning, contemporary home that has tradition and longevity at its core.
The house is carefully planned to maximize solar gain in winter and natural daylight through the year. The eastern views ensure morning light penetrates deep into the home, whilst large windows facing south and west ensure the house feels light, airy and healthy all year round. Access to the proposed outdoor pool is from the west facing, sunken living and play areas, whilst the raised kitchen and entrance lobby form the heart of the home. The more private study and sleeping areas are placed either to the eastern side or on the first floor creating a dynamic plan suited perfectly to the client's needs.
Re-occurring themes with many of our clients are their love for the outdoors. The Crichtons are no different and a discreet basement entrance to the east ensure muddy boots after a walk in the surrounding countryside can be washed down prior to entering the main living areas above. A feature staircase extends from the basement up to the first floor completing a design which is clearly a bespoke solution to a family who not only knew the site well prior to embarking on their adventure, but also were clear in what they wanted.
The result is a truly magnificent, harmonious home.