|External Dimensions||8.72 m x 17.47 m|
|Living Space||3000 ft²|
When Sarah and Trevor Bond approached Baufritz to build their family home, they were in good company as there are currently 4 Baufritz homes immediately nearby. Built on a sloping site, the Bonds wanted an understated home that was beautiful in its simplicity: good proportions, classical layouts, interpreted in a modern way was what they were seeking from their House Designer.
Closely allied to this, the built quality and finishes had to achieve the same standards and Sarah and Trevor believed that Baufritz offered the perfect turnkey solution to design and build such a home.
This modern house is on a narrow site leading to the River Thames, so the design needed to reflect this with the main rooms facing the river. Simple means such as smaller windows on the northern façade and larger windows on the southern façade were the obvious solution as the house was orientated almost perfectly north-south. Modern twists such as a light, glazed entrance (replacing the traditional heavy topology) and glazed balconies gave the home a modern, yet understated twist.
Similar to house Hauck in West Horsley, white render and silver-grey larch were used to finish off the building, but the feeling of the two houses could not be more different. Here, a modern, loose take of a large country villa results in a house that stands proud and tall in its setting. House Designer Peter Cox recalls: "The overall footprint available, given the site and planning constraints, meant that the internal spaces had to be carefully handled to maximize room sizes and the sense of light and space".
A third, lower ground floor on the southern façade gives access to the pool area – this lower level being used primarily for entertainment, fitness and games by this busy family of 6. It is from this side that the magnificence of such a home can be best appreciated: the views looking back from the river reveal a home over three imposing floors with balconies on the upper floors and a pool terrace below.
These balconies are not only functional, as they give direct access to the garden area below, but also allow passive solar gain in the winter months whilst keeping the hot sun away from the building during the summer. This technique is millennia old and has not been bettered since the ancient Greek Villa. Simple design features such as this not only add splendour and elegance to the house, but also keep heating bills to a minimum by adding warmth to the home in winter!
There was an existing pool on the site, and the site layout was generated using this pool as the focal point of the scheme. With access from the north-eastern corner the site is divided into a formal entrance courtyard with the main, formal gardens to the south. This layout, once again, is a classical design found in many ancient villas, and the site lent itself perfectly to the proposed scheme: the long site slopes from north to south, with the main views looking south.
As one would expect from a country villa, the "coach house" completes the courtyard, discreetly housing the double garage, garden room and the children's self-contained play area above.
The 25 degree pitched roof additionally accommodates both solar hot water and photovoltaic panels, whilst gas and a fireplace are used to heat the home during the winter months. The simple house shape ensures an excellent airtightness reading of 1.91 m3 / (h x m2), and the 86 tonnes gross (64 tonnes net) carbon-positive rating make the home exemplar in how a traditional looking home can achieve excellent eco credentials.