Winter House is a replacement dwelling within a 1 acre site in a conservation area in Rolleston on Dove, Staffordshire. The site is bound by impressive, protected trees.
Our client had no design brief in terms of style or size. Instead, he issued his art schedule which included artwork dimensions. He wanted the house to present the art, so we considered wall positions from the outset of the design process. We presented a gallery type aesthetic with lots of natural light. Whilst having a gallery type feel, we also wanted the spaces to be relaxed and informal. Externally, the building is dark. Black powder coated metal, black slate and dark render were used. The conservation officer wanted the building to be unnoticed from the street, so we chose a dark palette to minimise the mass and impact behind the protected greenery. Other than a few punches of glass, the street-facing elevation is solid and private. To the private side of the house, the solid mass is exchanged for an expanse of glazing; 25m of opening glass that connects the houses’ living spaces to the garden.
The garden, with it’s back-drop of protected trees, is a stunning space – it feels like a green amphitheatre. We wanted to bring the sense of this space into the house. Glazing was specified with the slimmest of frames, and we did not want to see any structure along the weaving glass line – a significant structural challenge. The result is an almost invisible threshold between inside and out, completely unencumbered. On entering the house, one feels like they’ve stepped inside and outside at the same time.
With this project, we were fortunate to be given the scope to design all elements of the house. This included architecture, interiors and furniture, lighting and external works. As such, we believe there is a symbiotic feel to the spaces.
The client claims the house has enriched his family’s lives beyond comprehension – ‘the whole house has a feeling of serenity and perfectly fits our lifestyle.’