The site is approached from the west on Gaulby Lane and a house on this site can be seen as a ‘sentinel’ of the village.
The three main elements that interact to generate the shape of the house are the multidirectional views from the site, the shape of the site and the uninterrupted movement of the sun around the site. The shape of the site is rectangular and the house is a square plan, creating maximum outside space to the front and rear of the house. The plan is then pulled and pushed to respond to the sun at different times of day and the views around without being biased to one particular direction.
The square plan was conceived as being a pinwheel with a static centre from which radiates the ‘sails’ addressing the church and village to the East, the fields and trees to the south and west and the oak tree to the north. This allows the house to respond in different ways and at different times to the sun as it rises in the east and moves around the site to the south, setting in the west.
The plan is generated from an 11 metre square space that we calculated to be the optimum floor plan size for an essentially three-storey house. To begin to generate movement in the plan we overlaid a series of golden section rectangles in a pinwheel shape that in turn generated room sizes that suited the requirements of the brief. These can also be subdivided into perfect squares due to the properties of the golden section rectangle. We also wished to use a golden section rectangle to ensure that all the spaces in the house are of a pleasing proportion.
The section was generated from the clients’ wish to be elevated and ‘up in the trees’. We have played with half levels to create a sense of space, drama and volume within a modest sized house. The house possesses a tangible landscape over which you experience different views and feelings.
There is a movement through the house that begins at the top as one wakes up in the morning facing east and the sunrise, with the view of the church. It then spirals gently down from half level to half level, until in the evening one can have dinner watching the setting sun in the west.
This helps to achieve a fluid movement with a feeling of close connection between the floors and yet separation and privacy between them too.