New Dwelling in North Devon

We were appointed to design a new dwelling for a young family in North Devon.  They wanted a traditional form to fit in with the adjacent village properties but with a contemporary twist so the house was of its era.  The front has been kept subtle with just a few openings and the garage forms a welcoming courtyard area.  The rear of the house faces south with amazing panoramic views so the elevations become more transparent.  The house floods out into the landscape providing a seamless link between the inside and outside spaces.  Parts of the building project around the outside of the house forming an array of courtyards that have varying aspects and uses including a safe secret garden linked to the playroom and a breakfast area for al fresco dining.

The house has been designed to sympathetically sit in its rural context by stepping down the scale at its edges.  The heart of the house is a two-storey structure while the projecting smaller wings stretch like vines into the landscape.  The main two-storey element at the heart of the dwelling has been clad with dark vertical timber as this helps diminish the scale and make the building blend into the mature natural context rather than stand out almost appearing as a ‘shadow’.  The extending wings are finished in smooth white render again helping break the scale of the whole down into smaller elements.  The parts then contrast but complement each other in both colour and texture as well as reducing the impact of their scale and providing a visual interest.  The materials are contextual as are the colours typical to the village street scenes.  The vertical aspect of the cladding will help break-up the horizontal nature of the elevations by providing ‘verticality’ and the timber will mimic and reflect the natural landscape of the trees and hedges.