This 1970s red brick house in Berkshire is located in a stunning woodland setting, but was failing to meet the requirements of our clients.
Our brief was to remodel the internal spaces of the house to enable the family to spend more time together, rather than in various rooms far apart from each other. The existing layout was confusing and required a complete re–think to meet the clients’ needs. In addition to the internal remodelling, we were asked to look into the possibility of adapting the external appearance of the house, including the cladding, roof form, and positions and sizing of the existing window and door openings.
Although the existing house is surrounded by mature trees, a private lake, and rolling hills to the east, very few of the internal spaces addressed these enviable features. Our response was to try and give each room and space within the house a sense of place, connecting them with the surroundings and giving each room at least one beautifully framed view out into the gardens and surrounding context.
The next issue to address was the cladding. The form of the original house comprises a number of ‘blocks’; some single storey, some two, but materially it read as one large mass of red brick. In order to break the ‘mass’ up and allow the house to sit more comfortably within its context, we reduced the overall height by replacing the pitched roofs with sedum-planted flat roofs, and applied a material palette of timber cladding (to silver with time and reflect the colour of the surrounding trees), white render (to provide contrast between the ‘blocks’) and glass.