Jury statement: 'A classic and well-judged representation of Architectural Beauty' The Jurors expressed the view that the Modern Mansion appeared to be a platonic and archetypically beautiful house with a clear presence in the landscape. It represents a simple solution to structuring the requirements of the family, whilst tailoring a response to their specific likes, dislikes and needs.
Design brief Competition organizers, closely collaborating with potential clients, were seeking beautiful, high quality design proposals for a spacious home (800-1000 m2) to 7 people with varying requirements. Project was located on a 91 ha site set within London’s metropolitan green belt.
Design Statement For me beauty lies in simplicity and reduction. This project is an attempt to reinterpret the old theme of mansion and adjust it to contemporary aesthetical and functional needs. Design's ambition was to create house that, while being luxurious, visually pleasing and great to live in, will be also devoid of all the things that are unnecessary. House that is not trying to follow passing fashion, but rather strives to create clear and solid presence in the landscape by using very simple means.
Externally the mansion has an appearance of a simple, white, stone block, perforated by big openings. House has a solid, robust presence emphasizing ambition to create lasting, durable piece of architecture. This aspiration is also visible in the choice of materials - all facades are clad with big panels of white marble. More private parts of the building (i.e. swimming pool) are covered only with thin panels of this material - its translucency enables sun penetration while securing privacy.
House has a very clear and simple spatial arrangement - all 'living' quarters (living room, kitchen and dining, study rooms, swimming pool and cinema) are placed on the ground floor, while all the bedrooms are located on the upper level. The whole two-storey block, dedicated to living and sleeping, rests on the sunken concrete podium containing auxiliary functions (garage, storerooms and man-cave).
Spacious living room fuses with the surrounding greenery - almost 20 meter-wide sliding glass facade provides spectacular views to the landscape. All other living chambers (kitchen, dining, studies) allow direct access to the gardens, while bedrooms, situated on upper level, are connected with the landscape via wide floor-to-ceiling windows. House is crowned with vast roof terrace, accessible directly from the master bedroom. This space caters for elevated views reaching far beyond building's plot.
The heart of the house is a green patio - private area accessible only from the living room - place that allows total seclusion from the external world. The courtyard is filled with greenery - walls of the patio are fully glazed to visually connect the living room, swimming pool and all the corridors with this unique space.