An enormous oak tree sitting on a sloping site with stunning views over a picturesque Wiltshire village on the edge of the Cotswolds. An ambitious client with Japanese heritage and with high environmental goals. An existing house that appears to have somehow been transposed from an altogether different context, completely missing the point of its existence in this beautiful place. From the front one barely sees the house, only roof, the entrance arrived at next to a 4m tall retaining wall. To the garden, within touching distance of the oak tree canopy, tiny windows barely address the view.
Our proposal for this radical retrofit completely re-imagines this house to address its unique siting and provide an environmentally super-efficient home. A new floor is added to introduce a proper entrance and address the street, whilst the ground floor is opened up to a timber balcony from where the oak tree and the views can be enjoyed in full. A restrained material palette seeks to emulate Japanese traditions, where charred timber cladding combines with oak timber shakes externally. Internally, raw and textured plaster is combined with natural oak flooring, integrated storage and simple carpentry elements for a clutter free family life.