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Orchard House
Oxfordshire

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On a beautiful rural site with a 60s bungalow that had seen better days, our customers wanted to create a striking modern home that would respond to their lifestyle.

With its large mature garden, including a wonderful apple orchard, the existing bungalow was much loved and well cared for over the years, but was starting to show its age and needed another round of major works to keep it habitable.

In order to make the most of the secluded site and its stunning views out to the open countryside, our customers envisaged a contemporary piece of architecture with impeccable environmental credentials that would be designed to meet both their current and future needs.

Having spotted one of our previous projects during their research, and enticed by the offer of a complete turnkey service, they got in touch to discuss their requirements and find out more about our approach.  

The project brief called for quiet work/hobby spaces, a large kitchen (with a central kitchen table, not an island!) and enough bedrooms for their family to comfortably stay whenever they wanted to. Accessibility was a consideration too, with space for a lift to be installed in the future should the need arise.

Beyond that we were given a blank canvas with regard to the design, though only something spectacular was going to do the project justice.

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Starting with the layout, we were lucky in that placing the building centrally on the site meant that all sides had attractive outlooks. Orientating the building across the site east/west means that the approach from the driveway presents the whole north elevation, with a welcoming, timber clad entrance recess. Principle living spaces are located to the south, with the kitchen to one end and a central double height dining space leading into a more cosy living area. 

 

One study also shares the views out to the south, whilst the other faces north into the orchard and benefits from more consistent northern light for art activities. 

Four ensuite bedrooms occupy each corner of the first floor, with generous space for all, as well as a laundry room and gallery space overlooking the dining area.

Externally, protruding splays around the windows are clad in Corten steel, framing views and providing solar shading to the southern windows. On the ground floor, blackened steel panels with folded edges create a geometric pattern and provide relief with the shadows created.

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