A new build home, set within a Conservation Area, Flood Zone Three and Green Belt, Water Meadow is a modest 180sqm three bed house for a grown up family and designed for retirement. The site was purchased predominantly for the views over the brook and rear gardens, which draw you in as you enter the property.

The concept of the design is centred around the entrance: the garden view penetrates through the open slatted stair, take one step and you are greeted with an unexpected double height, light filled void. The long, narrow footprint of the original dwelling the plan has taken on an open-plan nature, eliminating visually obstructing walls where they are deemed unnecessary and instead inserting multifunctional volumes.

Unlike the original dwelling, the proposal will be made from a locally sourced red brick more in keeping with the appearance of the Conservation Area.

The elevation will consist of alternating brick bonds to not only match the arts and crafts nature of the Abbotsbrook Estate but to create a textural division between ground and first floor, or rather, “original” dwelling and subservient upper level.

The first floor elevation which will be visible over the historic hedge, will accommodate a perforated brick corner to the east to help reduce the appearance of mass to the approaching elevation and a glass corner window to the west which will provide a diffused light to the entrance space and again reduce the apparent mass of the proposed addition.

The entire building sits atop of a Rachel Whiteread like concrete plinth, a defense to the flooding, and a wink to the environment agency’s 750mm height increase constraint.

The building has been designed to reach code level 4 under the Code for Sustainable Homes criteria.

Jackson Ingham Architects

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