New Contemporary House, Surrey
Designed around the concept of two interlocking and overlapping curved timber walls to the north side and open, glazed elevations to the south elevation this Contemporary new home incorporates many passive environmentally beneficial ideas including the ‘green’ sedum planted roof, smaller openings through a well insulated north facing façade, deep overhanging roofs and the cantilevered balcony to the south elevation protecting the interior from excessive solar gain in summer while allowing the low winter sun to penetrate deep into the building. Wood burning suspended stoves in the principal reception space and snug supplement ground source heat pump underfloor heating.
The curved walls are formed as a two storey timber ‘palisade’ wall and have only slot windows (horizontal and vertical) set within deep reveals. This curving façade and absence of visible roof from the front reduces the visual impact of the building within it’s heavily planted site. The vertical boarding, from locally sourced sweet chestnut coppices, would weather naturally to allow the building to further blend into its site.
The curved palisade continues around to the south side of the building to embrace and to provide shelter and privacy to the courtyard. The height of the screen falls away and slots are cut within it to give views through and over the rolling hills beyond. The line of the curved screen is picked out and reinforced within the surface finish of the courtyard.
The contrasting front entrance block with dramatically cantilevered overhang canopy signifies the entrance and retains a level of ‘domestic’ architecture within the timber screen.
The projecting walls of polished black marble are inspired by an image provided by the client of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.