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Sarum House

This former farm site on the outskirts of Winchester that enjoys a rural setting while within walking distance of the city centre. The house replaces an existing farmhouse and three brick barns are retained, with one converted to a leisure pavilion for the house and two others converted into a holiday-let property.
Local planning guidance acknowledges that ‘opportunities nearly always exist to incorporate high quality contemporary design. This helps to provide added visual interest, vitality and legibility. However, the design of contemporary buildings needs to be heavily informed by the context’.
Our design takes its cue from the farmyard typology and rural precedents in the local area. We utilise natural materials that echo the local vernacular and a high degree of sustainable principles in both design and energy use.

Sited slightly north and east of the existing (demolished) house while overlapping its footprint, the house sits more centrally on the plot addressing the views eastwards across the meadow. It also allows the house to form a connection by means of a garden wall to the nearest barn and its walled garden, continuing the farmyard typology.

The house therefore sits behind a ‘garden wall’, with the main body as a 2-storey form lying north-south, so presenting a narrow end to the approach allowing all rooms to address the long views east and west.

A single storey wing behind the wall contains carport and other accommodation, so framing a courtyard garden to the north side that enjoys afternoon sun, sheltered behind the wall. It becomes an L-shaped house enclosing a west facing garden.

From the entrance hall, a circulation route provides a view along the length of the house and provides access to a study, cloakroom/utility room, kitchen, a double-height dining space and down a couple of steps adjoining a chimney stack, into the main living room which enjoys panoramic views of the surrounding meadows and trees.

A staircase set within a glazed enclosure provides access to the first floor where four bedrooms and bathrooms are arranged.

To the west the existing walled garden is to be retained and refurbished to provide play space and pool for the family, while the existing outbuilding is refurbished to provide changing and recreation space.

The landscape around the house is to be returned to a more natural form, removing the existing extensive mown grass areas in favour of meadowlike grassland and indigenous planting.

An orange-red stock brick to closely match the existing structures will form the front wall of the house facing the entrance court. Beyond the wall, we use an earthy grey brick, used in panels set between full-height glazing to ground floor, while sweet chestnut vertical boarding is used to clad the upper volume and a clear protective stain coating that weathers to a slightly white tone. Aluminium windows will have a bronze anodized finish. Oiled iroko form the opening ventilation panels and vertical privacy slats.

The house will be built using sustainable methods of construction with a ‘fabric first’ approach to achieve close to zero-carbon emissions. It will utilise a ground source heat pump, powered by roof mounted PV panels, combined with a woodburning stove within a chimney.

Client Confidential
Status Detail Design
Contract value £Confidential
GIA m2 420 m2
Planning consultant Provision
Structural engineer Fold Engineering
Ecology Peach Ecology
Arboriculturalist Arbor-Eco Consultancy
Highways consultant Nick Culhane
Project Architect Chris Terry
Photography © nu.ma
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