|External Dimensions||14.43 x 17.57 m|
|Living Space||5108 ft²|
Located in the north London suburb of Northwood, country house Atherton is a substantial family home constructed on an existing building plot where the previous house suffered structural issues and was demolished to make way for a modern Baufritz design.
Like many London suburbs Northwood developed early in the previous century. The rapid expansion of the London rail network connected villages and towns to the city centre. People started moving out to the suburbs in search of a different lifestyle. House designs were rapidly changing with the influence of new architectures, and for the first time people were taking an interest in recreational gardening, which meant that the size of the building plots grew to meet the desire to live in detached houses with their own surrounding outside space.
Today the London suburbs offer a good match to people who want to design and build their own bespoke house, yet still demand access to the leisure and commercial opportunities associated with urban living.
The clients wished for a highly detailed and also very personal residence, explains Baufritz sales director Ben Fulton. "They really loved the energy plus rating of our Baufritz houses and suddenly bought into the idea of building a house with mostly sustainable materials". The architect's brief reflected a requirement to blend modern contemporary styles with a more traditional practical design. The final output is sympathetic to the surrounding area yet is also able to deliver light and comfortable living expected with a modern design.
The couple with their grown-up children had become familiar with the Baufritz brand through an acquaintance who had built a Baufritz house in the past. They were aware of the housebuilder's strong reputation in terms of quality, which Baufritz enjoys in the UK. They had lived in Northwood for many years, but their existing house had suffered from ground damage and consequent subsidence. In 2015 the family decided together to make the project a team effort, creating their very own Baufritz country house from a clean sheet of paper.
The house design leans very much to the classical mansion or Revivalist designs of the previous century with stone corners and classical elements. First impressions while entering from the driveway accentuate the classic features: a front door with a gable roof and white stone pillars and large, white windows finished in a classic sash style. Depth and breadth is achieved from a central gable roof with an Oxeye window.
It is only when the country house is viewed from the rear that some of the more modern features become apparent. A generous Veranda with a staircase made of natural stone directly accesses the garden. Either side of the Veranda are large modern rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows providing the light which we have come to expect with modern buildings. The external element is completed using Baufritz´s fibre cement panels and white rendered finish. The slate grey roof and the neutral colour palette of the house hints that this is a place to unwind and retreat from an active working life.
As with all Baufritz houses, there is a real focus on the highest quality materials throughout and meticulous attention to detail and finishing. The design of the 670m² living space is the central focus, as the family often has visitors. The 40m² hallway makes a lasting impression upon entering the house and sets the tone for the rest of the décor with its white textured marble floor. Dark oak doors and balustrades with black metal accents, dark oak floors, skirting boards and door frames all work together here, contrasting with the white walls.
A unique feature is the white and grey marble staircase with curved voids, moving up through the middle of the building, providing much more than a way to get to the next level. Cleverly it invites an abundance of natural light from a large roof skylight down into the centre of the house. The generously proportioned living spaces on the ground floor combine eating, cooking, living, and working across 218m².
The basement is fitted out to a high standard and used as a living space containing all the extras you would expect of a house of this size and quality. Here you find a home theatre, private gym with sauna and playroom. A plant room with all the technology needed to run the house is also located here.
There are five bedrooms in total on the top two floors with the same wood tones carried through as in the rest of the house. The spacious master bedroom benefits from a huge glass door, which opens onto the veranda overlooking the leafy garden, making it a calm refuge.
With contemporary good looks, this amazing build is more than simply the product of wanting to build a new home. It is an exceptional eco home that projects the joy of design and build, for both the owner and Baufritz´s on site team alike, who were rewarded with a daily supper treat by the owner during the project's eight month duration.