“Maximising and manipulating light in a heavily wooded plot to create a quirky house tailored to the site and our client’s lifestyle. ”

Project Background

Our clients bought a plot that has a house on it but it is not at all suited to their needs, so the plan is to demolish it and build a replacement dwelling.

Because the new dwelling is to be larger than the existing one, we are using permitted development to justify the increase. Our clients knew they wanted a full turnkey solution right from the start. When we asked them why, it was because they had converted a barn and completely refurbished a big house prior to this project, so were aware of the pitfalls of dealing with a multitude of different people and services.

The House

In terms of a design focus, the family are very musical, and want the house to offer a warm space for music practice at the heart of the house, and an entrance hall large enough to house their Grand Piano.

“The site lies within a residential enclave in a countryside setting. Given the low-density of the surrounding developments, plus the fact these plots are heavily wooded and well landscaped, the area retains a predominantly rural character”, says Josh Wood, Architectural Designer on the project.

“The vision is to replace the existing inadequate house with a bespoke 5-bedroom oak framed home tailored to the aspirations of our clients.

Perhaps the key design intent for this project is the exploitation of light in all its wondrous forms. The briefing process revealed a desire to use the architecture to play with light. Achieving this entailed careful consideration of the topography, fenestration, layout and orientation. Specialist sun-light prediction software was used to inform the shape of the roof and the location of key areas inside.

The form is split between one and two storey elements which enables the key living space to be open plan with a light and spacious vaulted ceiling. The entrance configuration presents a clear sightline towards the woodland at the bottom of the garden. This line of sight is complimented by shards of light entering the space from a double height space and striking the oak framing that is concentrated in this key area.

The design finds an elegant balance between contemporary detail and traditional form. Strong natural materials both inside and outside are accentuated with clean white lines. Giving further playfulness and variation of intimacy throughout the house are well-considered nooks and crannies; it is with these areas that a house can really become tailored to those who live in it.”


This elegant oak frame home was completed in Summer 2018.

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The Complete Oak Home offer something rather different, not oak frame manufacturers but oak frame experts who design & build oak frame homes. 


The one thing that has enabled us to progress is I believe finding a company that is prepared to partner with us from the very beginning and take us through planning, design/costing, tendering and build through to completion (or to any stage along the way). The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us. 


We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.


To find out more about our client-led approach to design, have a read of our blog posts on bespoke architecture, designing from a blank canvas and our client lifestyle briefing process.

If you would like to speak to our Project Consultant, Ged Brockett, and have a FREE phone consultation about your project, please call 01249 479890.