Contemporary 4 Views house by AR Design Studio
Winchester-based RIBA certified architectural practice, AR Design Studio, has designed the 4 Views project. Completed in 2014, the contemporary home is situated in a prominent location overlooking the city of Winchester, England.
This striking upside-down home contrasts with its conventional neighbours, displaying a flat overhanging roof, dark grey brick, cedar cladding and grey aluminium framed windows.
In 2011, a couple wishing to build a new house approached the architects. They wanted a life experience to immerse themselves in, having recently lost a daughter, a project that would give them a positive focus and a fresh start.
Taking responsibility for their brief very seriously, research into building a house that could help them move forward, heal and bring them happiness began.
According to the architects: “Through extensive research we found a wealth of information on the connection between good architecture and its positive effects on restoring health. We were given a ‘free hand’ with its design, around a wish for a garden within.
“The conceptual drive behind his house was the principle of the 3 N’s: nature, natural light and natural air. Four interlocking boxes define the form of the replacement house; the negative space at their centre forms a ‘Zen’ garden, with a single olive tree at its heart. This simple layout became the foundation on which the principles of the 3N’s could be built, allowing them to be incorporated into all aspects of the architecture and interior design.
“The contemporary house also connects with nature through three stunning, far reaching views of the South Downs. The long views inspiring the couple to look forward to the future, the courtyard giving space for inward private and reflective times. Subsequently, the house has become known as 4 Views.
“The extensive glazing to walls, roof lights and open central garden allow natural light to flood the upper floor, giving a generous feeling of space. The skylights create an enchanting backdrop to the interior, the spaces constantly alive with light and shadow from passing clouds, providing a stimulating continual connection to the elements. Large sliding panels of glass to the primary elevation and courtyard ensure natural ventilation and also a free flow of natural fresh air.
“The bedrooms and snug are intentionally darker, giving a cosier retreat downstairs. Views from here frame the garden, contrasting the extended views from the first floor and in turn emphasising the ground floor as a private retreat for the family.
“The courtyard, large balcony and huge covered patio are all designed to offer healthy outdoor living options regardless of weather.
“The materials and fittings are simple and natural to evoke and promote a sense of calm. The cedar cladding cocoons the house internally and externally, and the delicate scent from this creates a beautiful tranquil place to live in.”
Images courtesy of Martin Gardner
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