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1002_CypressCottage_Interior View_Douglas_004 OA edit.jpg

'a house for


film makers

multiple filtered


harvest light, 







Located in Penn Village, Buckinghamshire along a narrow street, lined with country hedgerows typical of the area. These hedgerows form green boundary to the existing house meaning most of the house is hidden from the road creating a secluded setting. The house originally dates from the 1920s, a drastic remodelling took place in the 1960s creating the current aesthetic. Further remodelling in the mid 2000’s changed the internal layout. While the house has 3 good size bedrooms, its internal layout is a myriad of circulation space and counter intuitive entrances in the north and west of the structure. Fellow collaborators and owners Suz + Tom came to us with specific brief. They wanted a sustainable, modern and future proofed home. That could change and adapt over time as they grow. While the house has three good size bedrooms, its internal layout is a myriad of circulation space and dark uninviting rooms due to the past ill-conceived alterations. Counter intuitive entrances in the north and west of the structure have caused much confusion due to the lack of an unrecognizable front door of the house which requires visitors to walk around the perimeter of the building to access the property. An additional bedroom was a must have as well as a working from home space or study. Suz + Tom also wanted solution to the dark, confused and counter intuitive layout. One parameter was to limit the impact of any extension to the mature surrounding garden. Inspired by modernist West Coast California houses of the 1950s and 60s 'V house' needed to act almost like a stage set. Orientation was key in setting up a number of aspect ratios throughout the house that frame the view of the garden and beyond.In the end we were designing a house for two film makers, both of which have a heighted sense of composition. The wrap around addition allows new spaces to plug-in to the existing house, multiple filtered apertures designed to harvest the light by following the suns paths create an ever changing interior that mimics the actions of capturing motion film. By re-orientating the house south a series of light filled spaces reimagine the houses layout. These light filled spaces vary from new working from home study space with a seamless corner window desk and the backdrop of the surrounding garden. In the open plan living space a large corner aperture window allows a physical connection to the garden via a large glass pivoting door. A wraparound bench sitting creates a unique dining space a slatted timber soffit filters the top light from the skylights above, playing with the dappled light creating unique and ever changing shadows on the walls and floor below. At the heart of this plan a fireplace and hidden TV unit with a rather Hollywood opening mechanism to allow it to be hidden from view while not in use a must have for a couple in the film industry. The new entrance give a new identity to the property, a clear and inviting approach via a raised boardwalk. Behind the door a new open plan living and dining spaces lead you through to the rest of the house.


The wrap around addition is clad in natural larch cladding split into a two tone design on the upper and lower part of the façade. The wrap around addition creates two peaks one at the rear of the property and one at the new westerly entrance. These peaks naturally slope to the corner which slopes in a V, this roof is planted with a blossoming sedum.


Date - 2021 Cost M2 - N/A GIFA - 25m2 Structural Engineer - Balanced Structures Visuals - Hyper_ x Sequence

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