The design brief was to design a single dwelling within the grounds of Castanum Court, Cheltenham which will provide a high quality family home with landscaped gardens, whilst preserving the inherent openness of the site. The dwelling is single storey and arranged to have minimum openings facing towards Castanum Court and the surrounding road network which will preserve the amenity of those within and around the dwelling. All primary living rooms within the dwelling face towards Hatherley Brook, and the dense mature trees that border it. The accommodation will include a living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms [one with en-suite] a bathroom, W.C and integral store room which will be connected to the property by a covered walkway which will shield the entrance door and provide both privacy and protection from the elements.
The concept behind the design was to create an inhabited garden wall, and so from first glance not a house at all. On further inspection the dwelling will reveal itself through a series of carefully layered facades which contain openings for the rooms within. The facades are all clad with identical brickwork, however each will be laid with a variety of brickwork bonds which are intended to reflect the interior use. Some elevations are finished in a plain Flemish Bond, others have a projecting Flemish Bond of exposed headers and some a Mesh Bond which will allow ventilation to the openings behind. The variation in brickwork bonds will create a random graphic pattern which will oscillate according to the light conditions and form a sense of movement when passing the dwelling. The light inside the dwelling will also be heavily influenced by the treatment of the facades and will be accompanied with a number of rooflights which are placed in seemingly random patterns in the planted roof above. Windows will be ‘punched’ into the brickwork walls and will have no reveals so that they are experience as a continuation of the facade. They will be fitted with mirrored glass so that the surrounding context is reflected in the glass and domestic references are reduced, in line with the design concept. The landscaping proposals are intended to add to the natural feel of the proposals in line with the concept of a “garden wall”. Wild flowers and grasses will be planted both around the perimeter of the house and within the sedum planted roof which will merge the built form into the landscape from all perspectives.