Our clients wanted to build a new house on the edge of their commercial and agricultural land in Middle Aston, Oxfordshire to replace a tired 1950s bungalow. They had planning approval to develop the bungalow, but wanted us to come up with a new plan that would give them a much larger house suited to a farming setting.
Oriented to make the most of the amazing views, the new house uses the best of the local vernacular architectural styles in a modern and contemporary way and is full of interesting design details that our clients absolutely love.
The site extends to four acres, overlooking the Cherwell valley on one side and a beautiful avenue of horse chestnut trees on the other. The aim was to open up the views and make the most of the garden to the rear.
The property is a house of two sides. The public, street-facing elevation is the grander of the two. Window reveals are in bespoke dressed stone. A continuous stone corbel surrounds the base of the property, stamping the property onto its site. A cut stone modern porch draws the eye and clearly identifies the main entrance. The design of the back of the house is simpler, with large expanses of glass opening the home up to a series of terraces.
As you walk into the house you enter an amazing triple-height hallway with a bridge over. The hallway slices through the house from front to back, with a double-height glass wall at the rear giving far-reaching views of the garden, the avenue of chestnut trees and the countryside. This space helps orientate the plan and expresses the flow of the house.
Off the hallway to the left are the more formal reception rooms. To the right is the kitchen and family room, featuring a glazed corner window with an unusual glass-to-glass junction. This creates a point of interest and provides stunning views of the garden.
The master suite occupies one side of the first floor. From here you walk across the bridge over the hallway and turn right toward two bedrooms and a family bathroom. Turn left and you find two guest suites in the rear wing of the house.
As you walk across the bridge between the bedrooms, a slot window above the main entrance frames a single tree on the far hillside - an inspired design feature that links the house to its very special setting.
The existing garage was retained and linked to the new house with a covered arcade that opens to a courtyard, a log store and a boot room entrance.
Detailing is key but unfussy with limited junctions. The result is a blend of simplicity and grand proportions.