Landmark Houses- Not Your Standard Cotswold Cottage
by Eva Jiricna- "designed to environmentally high standards - to suit and exploit the benefits of its natural surroundings, it will make best use of natural daylight and natural ventilation, balanced with a low maintenance energy-efficient building services system."
Now don't get all George Monbiot on us, we know second homes are not TreeHugger correct. However, if one is going to have one, putting it in a 550 acre "residential nature reserve" in Gloucestershire would be nice. Having it designed by some of the world's best architects would be nicer. The concept is based on the Case Study Houses built from 1945 to 1966, where some of the most important houses of the century were commissioned. Here, 22 architects are designing up to 48 equally remarkable houses.
We liked Eva Jiricna's attitude- "simple in form - an open-ended 'box', yet sophisticated in its design and sleek in its appearance, sitting on slender mirror-polished stainless steel columns above the nature reserve - to allow the wild landscape to flow uninterrupted beneath, and to create quite literally a contrasting LANDMARK above the gentle topography of the site and its lakes."
Will Alsop, recently seen in TreeHugger for his Toronto green condo project, is building "a timber-clad arch structure - it is mirrored in a fully glazed winter garden to the south, which, with its open end, acts as connecting element between inside and outside."
Sutherland Hussey is building " a contemporary interpretation of those wonderful boathouses usually situated on a man made lake in a designed landscape not dissimilar to the situation created here in Lower Mill. The house is arranged around a generous outdoor room, which gathers all the living spaces around it. The overarching giant arbour provides shade and privacy."
Piers Gough says " Watermark House is as relaxed as a holiday home should be.....The outside elevations spiral up in the opposite direction to the stair. The screen walls swoop down in front of terraces and up over French windows like a relaxed Guggenheim. The ground floor is enclosed with slats around the boathouse and part of the entrance hall. The elevation material is cedar wood as split logs on the spiral and rough sawn for the slats. It will weather to a lovely silver grey. Left to myself, I would make the whole interior from walls to sanitary ware the same silver grey. Totally relaxing and a great background for art, books and people !"
Other architects involved include Ed Jones and Jeremy Dixon, Richard Meier, and a gaggle of other famous or up-and-coming architectural stars.
Oh, to live in England with a zillion pounds in the bank.