Holm Place is a new dwelling in the rural village of South Warnborough, Hampshire, UK. Planning permission was granted in August 2014, and the project was completed in July 2017.
The 0.12 hectares site is located in the upper garden of Manor Court, a 17th century Grade II listed building which is situated in the South Warnborough Conservation Area.
The design of the house aims to build a successful relationship with the listed building, utilising materials and forms that are reflective of the scale and proportion of the site. The sensitive siting of the design together with an exemplary architectural response sought to enhance the character of the area.
Manor Court is surrounded by a generous garden which itself is bounded by protected mature trees. The site is roughly rectangular in shape with a north-south orientation and bounded to the North and East by an existing brick wall, which forms a separating terrace between the site’s upper garden, Manor Court and the lower more formal garden.
The brief was to create an exemplary modern home to accommodate four bedrooms with open plan living spaces for entertaining family and friends. The design aims to have a direct relationship to the garden, maximising light and blurring the threshold between inside and outside space.
The design is based on the following key principles:
- scale & positioning
- building as landscape
- a sensitive pallette of materials
- a sustainable development
The L-shaped plan is pushed to the edges of the site to preserve the green setting to the listed building. The two-storey accommodation of the building is positioned adjacent to the massing of Manor Court and together with the roof edge profile of the first floor and second floor that aligns with the eaves and ridge of the listed building create a direct relationship.
From our first site visit we identified a strong relationship between the existing house and the brick boundary wall that bounded the site. This gave rise to the notion of a traditional English walled garden as a means to orientate the new house.
The elevational treatment and building materials take their cues from Manor Court, utilising a simple pallet of brick, timber, off white render, glass and zinc. The building is arranged on a 3m structural grid, which is expressed both internally and externally to give clarity and order to the composition.
For the external walls facing north, a solid enclosure was defined using brick replacing the existing wall and a zinc cladding system above. The zinc references the agricultural buildings to be found in the local area.
Iroko timber cladding was employed for the internal courtyard elevations. The iroko was chosen for its durability and colour that will weather down to match the colour tone of the existing building.
A new line of pleached holm oak trees line the walled garden to the East and screens the bedroom wing which is set back 17m from the boundary wall.
The ground floor is configured in an L-shaped plan focused on the garden to create a unique and tranquil space. The ground floor accommodation has two distinct zones, the north wing containing an open plan glazed kitchen, dining, living space and the west wing containing the bedroom accommodation. Forming a connection between these two areas is the entrance hall, gallery and double height staircase. The circulation is defined by a minimal column structure that forms a cloister facing the garden.
The master bedroom suite at first floor is orientated south and designed with an intimate terrace that takes in the wide views of the countryside.