John Goodall looks at a selection of recently completed examples.
Country houses continue to be built across Britain. They remain hugely varied in scale and character, but all the best have in common a close relationship with their landscape setting. Here are nine examples of recently completed new build country houses to delight and inspire.
Backwater by Platform 5 Architects
Completed in 2016, the house, which stands beside a peaceful lagoon on the Norfolk Broads, was designed by a director of the practice for his young family and as a holiday let. Its gabled roofs and shingle covering are inspired by traditional boat sheds and a steel frame overcomes the difficulty of the marshy site. The internal spaces are flexible and can be opened up or divided as is convenient. It has a floor area of 1,776sq ft and three bedrooms. The construction was by Wroxham Builders.
Hayes House, by George Saumarez Smith of ADAM Architecture
The design of this neo-Classical house, completed in 2007, is informed by the 18th-century British tradition of villa architecture and its plan is based on the Villa Ragona, an unrealised project by the 16th-century architect Andrea Palladio. Its exacting brickwork creates an attractive contrast in colour with the stone of the portico and the frame of the central pediment. The house has an area of 7,500sq ft and incorporates six bedrooms. Its builder was R. J. Smith & Co.
Le Petit Fort on Jersey, by Hudson Architects
Completed in 2015, this is a modern family house built right on the shore and sheltered from the Altantic by the thick retaining walls of an earlier farmstead. The plan of the house is inspired by nearby fortifications. It uses a rich palette of materials, including Jersey granite, corten steel and timber. It has a floor area of 5,070sq ft and includes five bedrooms. The builder was Mitchell Construction Group.
Wall Garden House by Gluckman Smith Architects
Completed in 2016, the house replaces a 1960s bungalow built amid the walled gardens of a Grade I-listed building. It’s south-facing, with bronze roofs and façades constructed from local ironstone. The pool setting of the house was conceived in collaboration with the garden designer Rupert Golby. It has two bedrooms and a floor area of 1,800sq ft. The contractor was W. W. Brown & Sons.
Sandpipers, by James Gorst Architects
Constructed on the site of a 1960s bungalow, the house was completed in 2016. It’s of timber-frame construction, with larch cladding that is stained with a matte oil finish. The aim was to create something modern and yet discreet that took advantage of the building’s fine setting. There are five bedrooms in the house, which has a floor area of about 4,160sq ft. The main contractor was Designs Built Ltd.
Rectory Farm at Church Enstone
Designed by Yiangou Architects and completed in 2016, it stands close to the remains of a celebrated Jacobean garden in Oxfordshire, so both Historic England and the planners had to be persuaded to accept the proposals for the new building. The intention was to create something in a Cotswold idiom, much in the manner of the Arts-and-Crafts architects Guy Dawber and Thomas Jackson. The house has
a floor area of about 11,000sq ft.
Wood House, by Stuart Martin Architects
Together with its outbuildings, the house, completed in 2008, has a floor area of about 8,500sq ft. The client acted as project manager and directly employed all the trades involved in the work. There are eight bedrooms in the property. It’s built of Clipsham stone with stone roof slates and the oak-framed outbuildings are covered by oak-shingle roofs.
Berkshire house by Hugh Petter of ADAM Architecture
Completed in 2012, it occupies the site of an earlier building and is designed in a restrained Classical style. The main front is articulated by a stone portico. In keeping with other local houses, the exterior is finished in natural lime render and the roof is of slate. The location of the house takes advantage of a beautiful landscape setting and views to the south. It has five bedrooms and was built by R. Durtnell & Sons.
A Surrey house by Janine Stone & Co
The commission was for a country house with a stucco exterior in the early 19th-century idiom of the houses and terraces of London’s Regent’s Park. Internally, the building comprises large rooms appropriate for modern living. The house replaces a 1930s building, which was deemed tired and over-extended. The new house has seven bedrooms and is approximately 12,000sq ft. It incorporates an indoor pool.