Simon Janes Chartered Architectural Technologist
Demolition of a derelict house and construction of new family home with leisure facilities having internal spaces of around 10,700 ft2
The original property was long and narrow in shape and was located on a corner plot within an established Conservation Area. The property had been seriously damaged by fire under previous ownership.
The brief was to deliver a substantial family residence with generous room sizes and incorporating Leisure facilities with the design based around the style and principles of the Arts & Crafts Movement.
Due to the square shape of the corner plot and ample proportions the site was suitable for a multi aspect property, which would make the best use of outlook and the light available from a heavily wooded and shaded site.
A ‘butterfly’ format was used to define the shape of the property, this was set at 45° within the square site, enabling the rear elevation to face the south corner which also maximised the apparent depth of the plot. The form also incorporated two further wings to the front and rear, providing elevations facing in eight differing directions. The leisure facilities and garaging were then located in an interconnecting enclosure adjoining the North East wing.
‘Butterfly’ format buildings create a challenge with the layout of interior spaces due to internal walls converging at 45° to a possible point. The solution adopted was to have a central cylindrical stair core housing an inner helical staircase from ground to first floor and then a further helical stair wrapping around the back of the inner one to access the accommodation on the second floor. The result was a dramatic hall and landing open to the full height of the building.
The internal accommodation features a large central kitchen, breakfast and sitting area, 3 further spacious principle reception rooms, a gym / relaxation area with vaulted ceiling, a split level dedicated cinema room, and garaging for 3 vehicles with studio above. The upper floors house five bedrooms and dressing rooms and En suite bathrooms with two bedrooms having enclosed balconies accessed by sliding folding doors and also a self contained living space and kitchen on the 2nd floor.
A principal feature of many original properties built during the Arts & Crafts era were the dominant chimney structures, these being considered an indication of wealth and affluence. The property has a symmetrical front elevation featuring two striking chimney stacks opposing each other on the wings to either side of the main entrance, essentially framing it and giving the property a commanding appearance from the front, were as the rear has a considerably softer appearance.
The overall result was abuilding of great character both internally and externally.