House in the Woods
Updated: Feb 13, 2019
This site, in the heart of East Devon, is exceptional, and deserving of a design that makes the very best it can from the beautiful landscape around it. Set amongst mature deciduous woodland, with a view to the north of the Blackdown hills, the topography, sun-path, and great seclusion were both wonderful challenges and an opportunities not to be missed.
Try the VR model, it is simplified, lots missing inside, but it conveys the form wonderfully.
I started by trying to understand the site thorough sketches, trying to capture essences of the site: feelings, instincts, intangibles; the poetic qualities of the place. My work at this stage is simply to understand what will occupy this space and place, working with it to, enable a day to day experience of it that is unique to that place.
This progressed to sketch models, which I use as freely and experimentally as possible, playing with, angles, planes, apertures, working to crystallise ideas from the sketchbook in to a physical forms.
Objectives emerged: movement through the site, glimpses from front to back, and anti-monolithic approach to the house. Plans were attempted, amended, and after a process of consultation with my (excellent) client, a design was reached.
Planning permission was achieved in spring 2017, construction is due to complete in 2019.
There is a lot to analyse about this building: its geometries, sustainability, materials, massing, and so on. But what matters more than all those things will be the instinctive, experimental response from those who liv, visit and stay in the house. That is the acid test: the reality of architecture and its meaning our lives.