The team gained planning consent for a new house in the vernacular style on a beautiful site outside, but adjacent to, the village boundary at Horsted Keynes, within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The house is at the end of a long windy road that leads to Broadhurst Lake and is close to St Gile’s Church, built nearly 1000 years ago. At the client’s request, the house is designed as a traditional red brick house to match the character of Church Lane and the distinctive character of the Horsted Keynes Conservation Area.
In addition to its vernacular look, it was essential to making a modern house brief of 240m² appear like a traditional farmhouse, located at the end of a leafy lane surrounded by mature landscaping and sloping green pastures. The architectural play with the various eaves and ridge heights helped break down the visual impact of the house and created a building that sits comfortably on the site, working with the topography and the natural changes in level. Low brick walls connect the house to the new carport, creating an attractive front courtyard and allowing views of the countryside to ramblers and pedestrians from Church Lane.
The design is conservative and restrained and thus deemed suitable for this delicate location. Reclaimed local bricks to the walls, laid in Flemish bond, traditional red clay tiles on a Sussex hipped roof and small timber windows give this house the quality and authenticity the site merits.
All spaces are designed to suit modern family living without affecting their traditional exterior. As a result, the family living spaces make the most of the beautiful west-facing views and natural sunlight, while rooms such as the larder, storerooms and utility rooms are to the north to act as a thermal buffer to the habitable rooms and where natural daylight is not so essential.