William Green Architects Forest House exterior 1

Forest House

The historic wool town of Painswick in Gloucestershire is known as 'The Queen of the Cotswolds'. This design is for a contemporary, modern house to replace a simple timber-clad building on a fantastic woodland site near the town. Our clients wanted a unique, architecturally designed, bespoke home sympathetic to its surroundings.

You arrive at the property down an ancient track leading into a hidden wood. This is a sensitive site and our priority was for this new, modern house to touch the forest floor lightly.

Timber posts form the base for a timber frame. This allows the building to be slightly elevated and suspended and minimises the need for traditional foundations and heavy, wet materials on site.

The house is then built on a grid, with structural elements built offsite. The timber frame will be visible and exposed to the elements. Over time, it will weather naturally and turn silver. This will work beautifully with the zinc roof.

Our design for this house comprises two parallel, interlocking linear buildings with pitched, open gable roofs. This layout provides significant internal volume without the usual mass of such a large family home.

You arrive at the central point. The left side of the house contains all the functional, working areas including a boot room, laundry and cloakroom alongside the kitchen. This building has a solid aesthetic, with natural, coarse-stone walls. There are fewer openings on this side due to the upward slope of the site.

To the right of the main entrance are the open-plan living areas, including a playroom or office, dining and sitting rooms. Floor-to-ceiling glazing opens the living spaces onto a terrace.

We’ve orientated the house to maximise views of the forest. Fully glazed first floor gables mean each of the four bedrooms has a picture window overlooking the tree canopy and across the valley beyond.

A bridge over the double-height dining room links the master bedroom to the landing and staircase. From here, you can enjoy more views through high-level roof lights.

As well as being built using sustainable construction methods, Forest House also incorporates high-performance energy saving technologies.

A site like this one, deep in the countryside, can be a challenge in terms of planning permission and construction. We worked closely with our planning consultants and with our clients to develop a plan that was approved with limited conditions.

  • Location:  Cotswolds
  • Construction Cost:  £500 - £1m

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