Family Retreat

"No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.” 
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

 

This family retreat near Padstow is a progression of our work for Stepping Stone House. 

Our clients are a family with 3 young children. They envisioned a house that can relate to its surroundings and embrace the unique characteristics of the site - transporting those within to another world.

As in much of Cornwall, the landscaping around the site is characterised by the use of dry stone walling. This craft will be used both internally and externally. The external walls of the lower level will be entirely dry stone wall with small openings formed for windows (see bottom right image). The external dry stone walls will, over time, become inhabited by grasses, lichen and moss - further blending in with the surroundings. 

Cedar will be used in the form of slats to the upper level, window shutters to the lower level and also to frame the fixed and sliding glazed elements on the facade. It was chosen for its natural durability and weathering qualities which will protect the building and also soften the edges of the the glazed elements.

The proposed copper roof makes reference to Cornish copper and tin mines. It also allows a delicate and light eaves profile. This high quality, long lasting material will weathers and improve in character with age and in harmony with the natural colours of the woodland. 

The lower / secondary level  of the proposed house relates back to the curve of the natural contours and retaining walls of the site. The house appears to be part of the hillside and has a more subtle relationship with the topography.  

The indigenous woodland will be protected, encouraged and preserved by the positioning and form of the building. The proposals seek to engage the house with the woodland surroundings. Trees include Oak, Sycamore, Ash, Hawthorn and Elm. There is also a large Canadian Pine and two large weeping Willows, all of which are being retained. 

A key feature of the landscape proposal is for a wildlife pond at the foot of the quarry.  The pool will encourage biodiversity within the site and additional, indigenous planting will also be introduced to re-wild the existing site and its flora and fauna.  

 

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