This is, and was, the perfect site for a home; in fact, there had been a home on this four acre parcel, in the Forest of Dean, with panoramic views looking towards the Wye Valley. The home, the original one, was visible from significant distances.
This one ... not so much.
The proposal involved replacing the existing house, with a new highly sustainable, energy efficient live-work dwelling specific to both the site and to the client’s needs. This included their passion for the landscape and environment along with their requirement for two artist’s studios and gallery space. They asked that the new build be contemporary and to respond sensitively, positively, to the site.
The form of the building is derived from the landscape ... the slope, trees, levels and the views ... and from the site history. The low lying replacement dwelling is embedded into the site, cut into the slope of the hillside and buried to create an earth shelter integrated into the landscape.
The footprints of the three existing buildings have been converted into the new dwelling from ‘inside’ to ‘outside’ spaces. The roof is created by continuing the existing upper field along and over the building; this provides a highly insulated, intensive green roof as well as binding the spaces together to form a single storey largely open plan home.
In addition, those footprints of the existing buildings, were cut out and are now open to the elements, form beautiful sheltered external courtyards inside the home so that the inside is now outside, and the outside is now inside.