A large, picturesque site presented the perfect opportunity for an impressive new home. As the site is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it was clear that the design would need to be an exemplary piece of contemporary architecture that was sensitive and responsive to its location, as well as highly energy efficient.

Stour House is twice the size of the previous cottage so we took great care to break up the massing in the design, articulating the elevations by visually separating the ground and first floors. Large swathes of glazing on the ground floor of the southern elevation allow stunning views out to the river and maximise solar gain for this eco home. Deep window reveals on the first floor, which splay out at angles, help frame those picture perfect scenes while plastered-in window frames on the inside create the appearance of frameless windows on the ground floor.

Designed and built to Passivhaus principles, the window reveals and first floor overhang act as solar shading. Western red cedar cladding ages beautifully and helps blend the building in to the area. It is complimented by powder coated aluminium panels and recessed window reveals.

The bespoke staircase was designed and digitally fabricated in the studio. Laser cut steel is softened with a cedar clad balustrade, a material which is again used on the ceiling of the living space to add warmth and texture. The large open plan ground floor is entirely covered in a polished micro-cement, giving a solid, smooth and united feel to the space. It gives the family plenty of space to both relax and entertain, with a central void above the dining area adding drama and flooding the space with natural light from first floor windows.

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