A stunning new-build smart home to replace dated 1970's bungalow, Wokingham
We recently obtained planning permission for Pheasant House, a contemporary new-build house to replace an existing 1970s chalet bungalow in the borough of Wokingham.
We carried out a feasibility study investigating the pros and cons of a new build scheme versus a refurbishment, and pitched hard for both options, not just the new build, but in the end the decision was made to proceed with a new build scheme.
The existing property is one of two dwellings situated at the end of a cul-de-sac which face south and back against a railway to the north. How best to respond to the site's context therefore was a key driver behind the design response, alongside the client's aspirations.
The final design features a unique layout with two wings and a connecting glazed link.
The front wing that faces the street and relates strongly to the neighbours detached bungalow. The wing is single-storey and has a mono-pitched roof. While the materiality is different, it maintains the position, scale, and proportions of the existing dwelling. The design works hard to nestle into the setting, unashamedly contemporary, but sympathetic to the street scene.
The rear wing, sited at the back of the property, houses most of the accommodation over two storeys and has a flat roof. The height of the rear wing is set lower than the front wing to be subservient and minimise impact. The siting of the rear wing on the northern side of the plot is central to the proposed design and the creation of a sustainable home for the client. On the one hand the intention is that the dwelling would turn its back on the railway to the north with glazing kept to a minimum, while on the other hand opening up to a private garden on the south side of the plot with lots of south facing glazing to receive natural daylight and sunlight and to benefit from passive solar heating. If the dwelling were sited further south within the plot, the result would be the opposite, south-facing windows would be shaded by trees along the southern boundary of the plot and the private garden, being located north of the dwelling, would be shaded by the dwelling itself.
Another key challenge of the design was how to accommodate two mature oak trees on the site. The footprint of the proposed rear wing is within the tree RPAs (root protection areas) of the two oak trees and therefore a special beam and pile foundation was developed in coordination with an arboriculturist, structural engineer, and the Council's landscape officer in order to minimise impact.
The design of Pheasant House has several unique features that present themselves as you approach and move through the property. You enter the front wing via an integral covered entrance porch and once through the front door you are welcomed by a double-height entrance hall that leads to the ground floor of the rear wing the first floor of the rear wing via a feature open-tread staircase and the glazed link.
We are currently in the process of developing the specification for the mechanical and electrical aspects of the project including various audio-visual features and fully integrated Loxone smart home system.
New build area (GIFA): circa 240sqm
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