LocationWindsor, United Kingdom
Architect in Charge
Text description provided by the architects. Selleney replaces a tired, single storey house in need of major works, with a light and inspiring 4/5 bed, 230 sq. metre family home.
TDO’s proposals for the house near Windsor included the substantial demolition of previous additions to the original 19C cottage, which was retained and carefully refurbished. A significant new build element provides the majority of the accommodation.
Set up around a series of sightlines, the building explores a transition from the moment of arrival to a gradual immersion in the garden setting.
The new-build element is set off an existing cottage and formed of two frames with distinct axes: one orientated to the entrance courtyard, the second to the garden. Walking between them gradually draws the eye into the garden setting.
Working with off-site construction TDO saw an opportunity to meet the £100 / sq ft budget. The single storey structure was designed within the parameters of the contractor’s workshop tools and working methods, using standard sheet sizes and easily transportable elements. The building was largely pre-fabricated and fixed together on site.
TDO’s intention was to use economic, widely available materials and detail them in a precious manner. As a practice they have experimented widely with birch faced ply, which the client was excited to explore further. This formed the principle building material.
Working closely with the contractor TDO were able to take advantage of their supply-chain efficiencies by choosing materials such as through-colour renders and GRP roofing. This was combined with extensive use of off-site construction to retain control over costs, wastage and environmental impact on site.
The design exposes the structural and framing elements to give the building ‘free detail’. With the skeleton exposed, the attention to structural alignments and junction details had a high priority in the design process.
Window frames on the south-eastern kitchen elevation are formed as deep fins to protect from southern sun and overlooking. The exposed structural grid aligns with the frames and oversails the external wall to form a shading canopy.
The north eastern living area elevation opens to the garden setting, and the exposed structural grid is accordingly set at 90º to that of the kitchen to reinforce this relationship. The building’s exposed structure describes how it is built, maximises daylight, frames views and forms relationships around the site.