Downley House is set within with the rolling pastoral landscape of the South Downs and celebrates its context by creating a richly layered modern dwelling integrated with the landscape.
A circular walled entrance court marks arrival and the approach continues through a pergola within an inner courtyard bound by the ruined wall of the former house. A double height ‘Foudre’ hall is centred on the axis of the old house entrance. Circular towers astride the Foudre lead to a planted roof-scape which bridges to the hillside to the North West.
The client called for a tranquil yet playful place, full of natural texture, contrasts, and indigenous materials. The house is divided into a family wing and a guest wing linked by a barrel vaulted dining hall centred on the entrance of some existing ruins. The barrel vaulted hall opens at each end onto courtyards which receive sun in the morning and evening. The form of the dining hall is like a foudre wine barrel and reflects the clients love of wine. The circular glazed stair ascends to the roof terrace.