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Nithurst Farm / Adam Richards Architects

Nithurst Farm / Adam Richards Architects

© Brotherton Lock © Brotherton Lock © Brotherton Lock © Brotherton Lock + 23

  • Clients: Adam and Jessica Richards
  • Structural Engineer: Structure Workshop
  • Services Engineer: P3R
  • Main Contractor: Garsden Pepper
  • Quantity Surveyor: MPA
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© Brotherton Lock
© Brotherton Lock

Text description provided by the architects. Nithurst Farm is a new-build family home for the founding director of Adam Richards Architects. The house is situated in open fields, on the site of a farmworker’s cottage in the South Downs National Park. The house is built from structural concrete and wrapped in a thick brick skin with a black zinc roof.

© Brotherton Lock
© Brotherton Lock

The profile of the house ascends in a stepped motion, rising from a single-storey entrance on the north elevation to a three-storey tower, which is expressed as a grid on the south elevation. Arched brick window openings with deep reveals give cadence to the long side elevations, expressing the weight of the walls. The sense of motion created by this stepped form is emphasised by the patina of the brick skin; blackened bricks around the arched brick window openings create an optical illusion, a trace of movement through space.

© Brotherton Lock
© Brotherton Lock

The entrance confounds expectations: you enter from the farm courtyard into a darkened vestibule of exposed concrete walls, opening into a 4.5 metre high kitchen, dining and family room, with a character informed by Renaissance drawings and by Palladio’s plan for the Villa Barbaro. In a play of contrast to the mannered brick elevations, the walls and ceilings of the concrete inner frame are left deliberately rough-and-ready: just as they came out of the formwork, softened with white oiled pine floorboards, reclaimed stone, sisal carpets and brass fittings.

Ground floor plan
Ground floor plan
Section BB
Section BB

The expansive room incorporates six internal concrete towers, each containing a secondary room such as a cloakroom, study and larder. The plan is tapered on the north-south axis, creating a false perspective that heightens the sense of a journey to the house’s principal destination, the south-facing sitting room. A dark, labyrinthine passage exaggerates the sense of arrival into a light-filled room adorned with contemporary art and a collection of tapestries.

© Brotherton Lock
© Brotherton Lock

Stairs in the towers lead to children’s bedrooms and guest rooms on the first floor. Double doors open to a grand central stair leading up to the master bedroom where your ascent is rewarded with sweeping views of the open countryside through full-height, south-facing windows. Mirror image bedrooms/dressing rooms lead to a shared bathroom with freestanding bath commanding views across open countryside.

© Brotherton Lock
© Brotherton Lock

The house seems both ancient and contemporary – its weighty and tactile materials relate to the surrounding farm buildings, while the abstraction of its stepped form is suggestive of minimalist sculpture. Influences range from the formal architecture of Vanbrugh to the Russian filmmaker Tarkovsky, whose film Stalker has inspired the sense of destination embodied in the house. Nithurst Farm encompasses multiple layers of reference and association, each informing the whole, enhancing its meaning while creating a beautiful place to live.

© Brotherton Lock
© Brotherton Lock

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Cite: "Nithurst Farm / Adam Richards Architects" 27 Nov 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/929095/nithurst-farm-adam-richards-architects/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Brotherton Lock

Nithurst 农庄,拱形砖窗 / Adam Richards Architects

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