Text description provided by the architects. London-based Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design built a timber frame family home in just ten weeks, replacing an existing post-war bungalow in Berkshire. The environmentally friendly residence is 240-square-meters and sits on a designated flood zone, requiring the house to be placed upon a 1-meter-high brick plinth. The addition of such height creates a split level between the garage and entrance level, adding depth to an otherwise restrained material palette.
Learn more about the project and view select images after the break.
The brick cladding of the plinth contrasts with the main volume of the house, which is rendered and clad in larch timber. Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design describes the resulting aesthetic as "pared down and minimal,” and reflective of the firm's characteristic understanding of "contemporary craft, materials and form."
Generous steel-framed glazing and high vaulted ceilings allow ample natural light and illuminate the elongated sight lines created by the home's floorplan. Standing in the entrance hall, one is simultaneously afforded views of the garden and through a skylight at the roof's apex. The interior assumes an open-plan configuration in order to maximize visibility, with the kitchen, dining room, and living area forming one space.
An emphasis on craftsmanship and tactility undercuts the four-bedroom home, as evident in the handcrafted oak and glass staircase connecting the first and ground floors. This attention to detail is made all the more commendable by the project's completion in a mere fraction of the time typically required by a residence of its kind. In ten short weeks, the timber frame house was built almost in its entirety; during this time the structure was erected, fully externally clad, and roofed. Internally, floors were laid and rooms partitioned, and fitted with electrics and plumbing.
A further eight weeks were required for the construction of the aforementioned flood-safe brick plinth, with joinery, kitchens, bathrooms, and finishes and other detailing completed after the ten-week initial construction period.