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Modern House Smith

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Modern House Smith

Wokingham | England
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Peter Cox
Architect
Peter Cox
"Despite the difficult ground plan, we have managed to make the dreams of the residents come true. The modern timber frame construction with a flat roof and a composition of dark metal, larch wood and plaster harmoniously embeds the house into its surroundings. The special feature of this design is the combination of a barrier-free, single-storey part of the house for the grandparents and a two-storey transverse wing, which adapts perfectly to the natural terrain. The access to the one-storey living area is especially appealing. For from here you can overlook the entire length of the light-filled living area."
 

House data

External Dimensions 8.2 x 19.5 m
6.6 x 11.9 m
Living Space 2615 ft²

Additional information

modern House smith

 

think outside the box

 
Twyford is a picturesque village close to the beautiful city of Winchester. Being in commuter-belt territory, the village is much sought after: but what sets it apart is its beautiful setting and wonderful nearby amenities. Jill and Lloyd Smith were fortuitous to find a site in the village after what seemed to be a thankless task: searching for a plot close enough to London yet with a real country feel. It was in fact Jill's mother who found a site in the gardens of a large listed building whilst looking at an adjacent plot for herself.
 
The village hides many secrets, one of which is the surprising density of housing accessed off many private lanes. This has resulted in a rich village fabric with houses built on tight access lanes. Any leftover land is difficult to come by, and subdivision of land is not uncommon for the area. It was just such a plot that the Smiths were lucky to find, the garden of a listed mansion being divided up into 4 separate plots.
 
Although being in quite a dense area, the mature trees and organic development of the plots and road ensure the site feels secluded and far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This is ideal for the Smiths who have young children attending nearby schools, whilst their professional life sees them commuting into London on an almost daily basis.     
 
The versatility of the House Designers clearly came to the fore on this difficult site as clients wanted a contemporary modular home on a site which had to take account of the listed building nearby.
 
A theme that does seem to follow Baufritz around is one of tight or difficult access to sites. Having experience from day one in the UK, the House Designers are able to "think outside the box" when planning the homes and, by so doing, ensuring access is no longer an issue.
 
In the case of House Smith, the panels were transported by HGV to a site close to the site, and then transferred to a smaller "shuttle" lorry which carried the smaller, lighter panels up the narrow and winding driveway to the site. The finished home does not reveal this secret in the slightest: the render and sheet-metal cladding were applied on site to hide any secret joins in the structure.
 
 
The accommodation initially appears single storey as one enters the house at ground level into a succession of spaces: You enter into a welcoming hall which leads you either into the kitchen (to the side) or living and dining rooms beyond. The south and west façade are primarily glazed allowing plenty of light into the spaces, whilst integrated exterior blinds or large overhangs keep the sun off the façade during hot summer's days.
 
The large overhang to the south becomes an outside veranda area, ideal for entertaining one's guests all year round "al-fresco" style! This "outside room" then leads you into the garden beyond. The succession of spaces from entrance to outside is perfectly in harmony with the sight layout, topography and aspect.
 
By utilising the slope down from west to east, the more private areas of the home are placed over two floors on the eastern side of the house. By placing this "wing" on 2 half levels (the lower floor being set around a sunken courtyard), the home sits snugly in the landscape and is discreet in its surroundings.
 
The house is therefore very much in two halves: a very public space with plenty of light and warmth, and a more private, quiet and cosy sleeping wing over two floors with access to the sunken courtyard from the main and guest bedrooms. The children's rooms and office are located above these with wonderful views from the elevated floor level.
 
A discreet basement completes the composition with a private music / cinema room for Lloyd to escape, to listen to his wonderful music collection, or for Sunday evening family time watching their favourite flicks!