“Pushing and pulling elements of a linear form to bring the inside out and the outside in on a tricky sloping site. ”

Project Background

Our clients came to us as they wanted to build a replacement dwelling in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and then replace it with a new 4/5 bedroom oak framed house. The site has absolutely stunning views and is on a very substantial slope.

The existing house is very unattractive and doesn’t make the most of the site or views. However, designing a replacement dwelling for a site within an AONB has its challenges. As is common with sites of this nature there can be no increase in footprint and any increase in height and volume must be immaterial. Planning officers will evaluate scheme designs to make sure that any new dwellings do not have any detrimental impact to public viewpoints into the AONB and therefore, if anything, must enhance it.

The House

The house opens up into the formal dining space with the separate living room coming off one side and the open plan kitchen diner the other side. There is a utility room and a toilet at the end. Around the corner is a large sun room which projects out to the south.

The whole house is sectioned into two parts with two separate stairways to reach certain areas of the house. The first floor consists of the master bedroom, a guest room, a reading area and a large study. The east wing of the house is entirely for the master bedroom and its connecting rooms, a dressing room and en suite. The master bedroom leads out onto a balcony, along with the study and guest room having private balconies.

“This project boasts a magnificent site with expansive south facing views. At the moment this is an asset that the current house is definitely not making the most of. It was this lost opportunity that formed the basis of the brief,” says Josh Wood, Architectural Designer. “Initial experimentations with different forms led to a linear form running parallel to the contours of the hill thus exploiting the views to the greatest extent. The design aims to push and pull with the boundary between inside and outside. Covered terraces and balconies provide the south elevation with relief and texture, bringing the activity of the house outside and the light inside.

The topography of the site presented both opportunities and constraints. Finding enough room for 8 cars to park and turn around on a sloping site next to a highway supported by a retaining wall being one challenge that required some ‘outside of the box’ thinking.”

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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.