The key to this project was the homeowners’ desire to build a modern family home with clean lines and contemporary design features in a rural setting with beautiful countryside views, yet still close to amenities and transport connections. In 2011, the homeowners secured a plot with a dilapidated four bedroom house near Tunbridge Wells, just outside a conservation area and partly located within an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The site came with two planning permissions for its redevelopment, one of which featured a sizeable modern house. This presented the opportunity to submit an amended design on the back of the original permission. The design phase commenced in March 2012 and, following an intense consultation period, planning was submitted that September and consent was granted in November 2012. When it came to the build, thanks to the use of Baufritz’s prefabricated timber frame construction route, the shell of the house was assembled within days. Weald House comprises a new five-bed, two-storey detached home, featuring an L-shaped design. This L shape provides an inviting arrival area on the ground floor to the south west and screens the more private eastern garden area. The modern design blends harmoniously with its surroundings, thanks to the simple building materials (mainly light render and natural larch cladding), which will weather naturally.

The north and west façades are kept simple, with modest fenestration mainly for service rooms, some with semi-opaque glazing to avoid overlooking. The southern projection of the building houses the kitchen on the ground floor and the master suite on the first floor, providing natural surveillance of the entrance, garden and the eastern and southern boundary of the site, which are more easily accessible from the open fields. The gated access provides a strong sense of ownership and privacy.

The east and south aspect of the building have more glazing, to take advantage of the outstanding views where possible and to provide a more direct connection to the approach and garden side. The house is laid out as a comfortably sized family home and is able to accommodate a potential increase in spatial requirements in the future or intergeneration living.

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