woodland houses

Planning application

The designs of the woodland houses in the South Cambridgeshire village of Shepreth is a response to the secluded landscaped setting of the site. The two plots in the former grounds of an existing dwelling are within the local conservation area and heavily sheltered by established trees. The orientation of both houses, one four-bedroom and the other six-bedroom, have been laid out to benefit from the passive shading of dappled summer sunlight, and low winter sun angles beneath the tree canopies.

design

Set back from the road and roughly equidistant from existing properties, the frontage dwelling takes the form of a T-shape to form a semi-private and a private side to its plan. The main mass of the house sits behind a front gable resembling the built form of Meadow Thatch (an adjacent listed dwelling). A connected single storey wing bisects the plot southward creating connections between internal rooms and each distinct garden either side.

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At the western end of the site a carefully curated clearing in the woodland accommodates a second dwelling. Similar to the first, a semi-private and private garden space is placed either side of the house to take advantage of views and sunlight and a dominant open landscape to the west. Landscaped gardens relate the existing and proposed houses together to carefully curate the visibility and privacy of the spaces between each property.

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The new houses carefully juxtapose a contemporary vernacular of brick walls and subtle articulation with shallow rooflines to evoke familiar silhouettes found in the the surrounding countryside setting. Smooth cut brickwork of Victorian buildings found locally are echoed punctuated by large recessed openings set in a relief of contrasting off-white cladding, or simply punctuated to form a striking asymmetric balance. The metal roofs, contrasting red brick chimneys, simple detailing, and double boarded treated timber have all been chosen to resonate with traditional craft and construction methods.

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