A stunning family home that blends with the landscape
Jon and Louise Wood’s stunning family home in the heart of the Surrey Hills is the culmination of two years working with the Planning Adviser for the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to design a home that complements its immediate surroundings.
The couple commissioned Stephen Marshall Architects who worked with local stone, cedar wood cladding and glass to create an imposing modern home that blends comfortably within the landscape. The architect used as much glass as possible to reflect the views of the sky and surrounding greenery. This is where the Schüco products used throughout the house work their magic. The result is making the house almost invisible from a distance.
Stephen explains, “Using glazing to merge a building with its surroundings is an effective technique we use often, and it has worked really well here. The planners encouraged us to build something modern. They were keen to show what a modern house on an exposed site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty could look like and are delighted with the results.
“I think we’ve demonstrated that a countryside setting can inspire something more progressive than a traditional gingerbread cottage.” The home’s location was chosen for its stunning views and yet is cleverly designed to shield those views on the approach to the house.
“Although the main idea behind the design is the view, I was keen that people enter the house without having seen it at all. Then, as they walk through the ground floor the breath-taking views are suddenly revealed. It works very effectively because the view really is spectacular"
The large Schüco lift-and-slide doors ensure there are views from every room, including views through the house to the outside in every direction.
The house benefits from such wonderful views because of its location on top of a hill, however the site is also extremely exposed to the elements. The windows and doors had to be able to withstand howling winds and, at times, horizontal rain.
Jon is the director of specialist cladding company, JW Osprey. He says, “I’ve been in the glass business for most of my life. This meant I was able to select the best products for the job.
“Living in such a windy place, I needed a robust product that wouldn’t let the wind whistle through, so I chose Schüco. I always recommend my clients invest in Schüco for its high quality and timeless design. I took my own advice and it proved to be the right choice. The house is warm and completely weathertight.”
Another benefit of the Schüco lift-and-slide doors is that they are easy to operate for the whole family.
“If you knew the weight of the glass that sits in the frames you’d be amazed by how easy they are to use, they simply glide open and closed. I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t been able to operate them,” comments Jon.
The family are very happy in their new home. Like most families, they tend to gather in the kitchen, but each family member has their own favourite part of the house.
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