This contemporary family home in a woodland setting was built for a client who wanted to move out of the city. It is tucked away in a tranquil location on the edge of the South Downs National Park in Sussex. The challenge of this build was to create a house with minimal intervention that works with the landscape in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The design was inspired by nature – from the irregular timber cladding that echoes the pattern of trees, to the shape of the building with two distinct wings that reduce the visual impact of the house. Natural materials and muted colours allow it to blend seamlessly into its environment. Inside, the open-plan layout offers vistas through the house to the garden.

Fact sheet

Roof shape
Pitched roof
Dimensions in m
1248 x 6,33 each wing
Gross External Area in ft² (incl. basement if present)

Architecture in harmony with nature


Magnus Nilsson

"Set in a rural location, the house has been designed as a barn with two storeys under a pitched roof. It comprises two entities that give the impression of sliding past one another, making them appear distinct – a nod to the incremental building practices of rural architecture. Externally, this minimises the visual impact, while internally it forms two separate, yet interconnected areas."

Broadening horizons

A fixed frame window in the master bedroom overlooks the dining area with views into the garden and surrounding woodland beyond. The large glass surface opens up the wall to create a feeling of space. A blind can be closed to ensure privacy. This window also provides an additional source of light for the kitchen and dining area below.

A light touch

The double-height ceiling over the dining table creates a feeling of space with an interplay of light. The house has been designed so that that the rooms in which the family lives are facing south-west, with large windows to make the most of the views of the woodlands and surrounding nature. The functional rooms to the north-east are more private and have smaller windows.

Floor plans

Ground Floor

First Floor

"The house is set on a north-west to south-east axis. Large windows in the habitable rooms offer views of the garden with mature trees and the surrounding countryside."

Magnus Nilsson, architect

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The Home - international projects

International architectural projects from 2100sqft of living space.