Private House in Cherwell

Floor plan

Situated near the edge of an escarpment in Cherwell, north-east of Oxford, this new house overlooks a valley to the north-west and its own gardens to the southeast. The site, previously used as an agricultural college, contains a number of existing buildings to the south-east of the escarpment. Several of these buildings have been removed, while a central courtyard has been retained and is to be stored. The complete ensemble consists of a Grade II listed timber-frame barn with brick stables and a granary as well as a series of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century farm cottages. The design of the new building required respect for the listed buildings and the operational farm while minimising visual impact on the wider landscape.

Private House in Cherwell

Situated near the edge of an escarpment in Cherwell, north-east of Oxford, this new house overlooks a valley to the north-west and its own gardens to the southeast. The site, previously used as an agricultural college, contains a number of existing buildings to the south-east of the escarpment. Several of these buildings have been removed, while a central courtyard has been retained and is to be stored. The complete ensemble consists of a Grade II listed timber-frame barn with brick stables and a granary as well as a series of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century farm cottages. The design of the new building required respect for the listed buildings and the operational farm while minimising visual impact on the wider landscape.

Composed of a collection of four single-storey courtyard buildings, each orientated in a different direction, the design sets up a dialogue between traditional farmsteads and modern open-plan living. The courtyards act as a series of outdoor rooms that connect the house to the wider landscape, while separating the cultivated gardens from the agricultural land beyond. This connection to the landscape is emphasised by the horizontal composition of walls, courtyards and low single pitch roofs.

Beneath the terne-coated steel roof, the building and its predominant walls are expressed through grey handmade Roman bricks pointed with a lime mortar of a similar shade. The larger setting and the disparate buildings are stitched together through landscaping and planting designed by Peter Wirtz, including a series of lawns, rose gardens, orchards, hedges and avenues. These features also offer a level of separation and screening between the public and the private, the domestic and the agricultural.

Date:
2008-
Gross floor area:
1,800m²
Client:
Private
Design architect:
David Chipperfield Architects, London
Director:
Andrew Phillips, Franz Borho
Project architects:
Patrick Ueberbacher, Peter Jurschitzka
Landscape architect:
Wirtz International