Project Background

The owners’ intention was to demolish the existing property and build a new, replacement dwelling slightly behind the existing footprint.  The proposal was for a Georgian-style dwelling constructed with high quality materials and architectural detailing. The existing dwelling which was some 60 years old had no specific architectural characteristics that justified its retention. The proposal was set immediately behind the original which was used by the main contractor for staff accommodation and site office.

 

ARCHITECTS: Clive Wicks Associates

LOCATION: Romsey, Southampton

SPECIALIST BRICKWORK CONTRACTOR: Principle Building Services

BRICK TYPE: Smeed Dean London Stock 

Brief

The aim was to create an executive house in a multi stock buff brick which, like the many focal points in nearby Romsey, contrasted with the local multi red stock bricks and acted as both a focal point and a “book-end” to the Straight Mile. This philosophy was embraced by planning officers, as was the introduction of curved walls and pillars at the site entrance. The new site entrance gives only a partial view of the front elevation which then provides increased drama the closer to the dwelling one travels up the driveway.
 

Design and Materials

As noted earlier, the major aim was the use of a multi stock buff brick, from which all the detailing evolved. The Wienerberger Smeed Dean London Stock was the same as that used on the Duke of York /Saatchi Centre in London and here the classic Georgian timber sliding sash windows were framed by reconstituted ornate stone surrounds, both of which complement the bricks perfectly. The Redland Cambrian slates complete the elevations.
 
The front elevation is a partially enclosed courtyard with a formal stepped portico entrance in front of timber painted double doors, all only seen when getting past the retained mature magnolia and camellia shrubs. The focal point of the gabled front is enhanced by the parapet wall detail with a series of step-backs emphasising the main entrance. Subtle single brick quoins are an understated but noticeable design feature.
 
The rear elevation is taken over by sliding doors to the lounge, dining room, kitchen and garden room, all of which overlook the south facing rear garden and woodland. The central master bedroom also has a fully glazed Juliet balcony giving another unhindered view over the garden area.
 
Whilst the interior of the property has no influence on the brickwork of the final product, it exhibits the same, if not more, attention to detail in the decoration, door designs, cornices and dramatic curved walnut staircase. There is no anti-climax when you enter the house!
 
It was very pleasing that the planning officers at Test Valley Council embraced the proposal from day one and supported the architects with a Planning Permission within the eight week deadline.

 

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