300m2 detached rural dwelling - under construction.
Located on the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells, the plot is nestled amongst ancient woodland with most oak trees dating back to the 17th century. The site falls within Greenbelt, Area of Natural outstanding beauty, ancient woodlands and specific interest for ecology.
The site was occupied by a small, burnt down cottage which had remained uninhabitable for decades. The client, whom we had worked with previously, returned to us and presented the 5 acre plot without a description, other than to create a unique home for them. The existing, burnt down property was less than 100m2, affording any chance of creating a larger home extremely difficult due to Greenbelt limitations. However, with careful consideration to the design and working with the previously, albeit sketchy, planning history the proposed dwelling totaled a final size of 300m2.
The concept focuses towards local material to form its structure – hand-built flint walls for the ground floor and narrow, vertical oak cladding for the upper level. A light-weight, first floor terrace wraps around the South and East facing elevations. Coupled with the orthogonal yet undulating first floor plan, private terrace spaces are created for each of the five bedrooms, with the master bedroom assuming the corner position.
The internal floor plan draws upon traditional concepts from local farmhouses, where the kitchen and dining are conjoined and where forgotten volumes such as pantries and reading rooms are re-introduced into the plan. Yet, as with the past, these rooms were typically functional and bare, these spaces are now recognised as architectural gems and detailed to a high level, incorporating meticulously tiled floors and contemporary, oak-cladded walls.
The house offers a graceful yet contemporary, two-tiered pavilion styled design whilst drawing inspiration from local, vernacular properties, both in terms of material and layout. The project started on site during mid-summer 2016 and is due for completion summer 2017.