Our client at Avon View was very keen for a ‘healthy’ house - ie. one made of natural materials and demanding minimal energy consumption. He gave us a very detailed brief from which it was clear that he was also seeking a piece of art.
As these images show, the design is composed of three elements: a 3 storey glazed circular drum (containing the entrance, cloaks, circulation and study), a large open-plan living space and a two storey ‘bunker’ (containing bedrooms) half-buried in the ground. Jointly they form a composition in the landscape and individually, they each address their unique requirements by utilizing their exact location on the site.
The bedroom wing is designed to have complete privacy from the living quarters. Its master suite is located at first floor level and has an external balcony aimed at the principal view. Each of the three bedrooms is orientated to capture morning sunshine. Responding to the contours of the site, the bedroom wing is partly dug into the hill on its south west side.
The entrance drum is strategically located as a ‘hinge-point’ on the site. Upon entering the front door, users are treated to a panoramic view plus an exciting 2.5 storey space containing a circular sweeping staircase.
Our client eventually abandoned the proposal in the face of the authority’s intransigence to permit any form of replacement dwelling; some might regard this as rather perverse particularly since the existing property is located in 121 hectares (300 acres) of a privately owned part of the New Forest.