Arts and Crafts movement meets contemporary modernism in the Berkshire countryside, Maidenhead, Berkshire

We've just begun an imaginative and rewarding home extension with some wonderful clients in Berkshire region.

Two reasons we are finding this project rewarding are the clients themselves, with their vibrant and contrasting personalities, and the design itself, which grew out of our interaction with them.

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The existing house has a traditional style. It's being refurbished mainly under the wife's curation with an eclectic eye fusing classic traditional design, with contemporary and retro inspiration. This extension features a significant kitchen extension.

The ground floor extension will sit underneath the husband's contemporary first-floor wing, which features an ultra-contemporary design of his office, a home cinema, and - why not? - a secret passage connecting them via a hidden bookcase door.

The first-floor wing in turn relates to the split-levels site by looking out on the pool, sauna, and changing area located at the lower-level patio.



While the form of the design is obviously a sharp contrast - traditional meets contemporary - the material we're using echoes the original home's traditional design. The first-floor wing, for instance, is clad in stone, which is featured on the classic Arts and Crafts quoins accenting the home's corners. The east face is also clad in a rich copper that resonates with the house's original clay roof tiles, yet in a way that is uncompromisingly contemporary.

The contrasting forms are articulated and separated by a glass link and bridge that connects the wings.


At some point early in our meetings with the client, someone quipped that the new design was "Lutyens meets Lautner" - a reference to the classic Arts & Crafts architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and the Los Angeles architect John Lautner known for his contemporary designs.

We'd like to think that Sir Edwin and Launter wouldn't object …

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