The Architect's View - Pete Tonks
I was introduced to Stuart and Diane Wilkie by Tim Crump in the autumn of 2006. This was one of my early projects with Oakwrights, having originally partnered up with them in 2004 following the founding of my design studio at PJT Design.
Both Tim and I had a number of meetings with the clients to view the proposed development site. From there we worked up a brief for the design, to ensure we were going to meet their vision and expectations for the build.
A Warm Welcome
The project was a replacement dwelling on the edge of Green Belt and within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). As such we were restricted in terms of what size house could be achieved through replacement. The planning authority was Sevenoaks District Council, who I had worked with before, and as such I was aware of their expectations in terms of planning policy and level of design.
The Original Stubblefield, in a poor state of repair
Having met the clients and studied the local architecture, I came away from the site with a really good vision of what we could do. The design is based on the local vernacular of fairly slim line buildings, but with good high roofs; it features a good mix of building materials which when combined in the correct ratio, achieve the right balance of what I think a good country style house should look like.
Because the site is located on a fairly steep gradient, we chose to exploit this by introducing a full basement cut into the hill side which had its own view out to the rear.
This was always going to be tricky when interpreted alongside the planning authority’s policies in respect of impact etc. But with the correct detailing, I was confident that we would produce a successful design.
When I now look at the finished house and how the clients have incorporated every single aspect of my vision into the physical building, it is very rewarding to know that they understood and appreciated why I did what I did.
Stubblefield is, without a doubt, very high on my favoured list of houses that I have had the pleasure of designing and my congratulations go out to Stuart and Diane for what they have achieved.
The New Stubblefield, high on Pete's favourites list
To read the full case study for this project, please click here