House 784 is sited on a tree-lined suburban road in Cheshire, and was designed for a couple with a young family. On the road, the house types are suburban; conservative, bland and mock traditional. The approach was to create a fresh contemporary version of the suburban house; one that reacts to its context and is tailored to suit the specific needs of the client.
The client asked for a four-bedroom contemporary house. They also asked for a three-car garage and an independent granny flat. Of prime concern to the client was the privacy of the living areas and the garden. They were also keen that the internal spaces felt bright and open with rooms flowing into one another.
They did not want everything to be visible upon first entering the house, rather that it allowed one to meander through it; discovering places and views.
Garden and living areas
The first consideration was how the garden could relate to the internal spaces. To the front of the house, there was a large, south-facing garden, which in the neighbouring properties was poorly utilised due to its visual exposure to the public road. The starting point, therefore, was to create extra screening along the site boundary to allow this area to become a usable private family outdoor space. As the outdoor garden space was now private, it was then possible to put the living areas on the ground floor, allowing for direct access from inside to out.
The privacy of the gardens also allowed the creation of large window openings, providing views into the garden without the need for screening, during the day or night.
The house was designed in such a way that the rooms flowed into one another, with each room having its own individual relationship with the outside.
The solid stone block sits aligned with its neighbours while the higher rendered block cantilevers over it on the south elevation, creating a dramatic entrance. In a way, the design is about the drama of entrance; even as you move through the house the visitor is continuously entering, discovering the drama of each space sequentially.