White Lodge is a stunning white-rendered modernist villa with vast open living spaces and extensive glazing in mature grounds with feature swimming pool. The dream was to build an ultra-contemporary, sustainable home in the heart of leafy Surrey on the secluded site of an existing pre-fab bungalow – a bold design statement, far removed from the pitched roof architecture of the area.
Having sold their listed manor house a few miles away, the build would mark a new chapter in the owners’ life exchanging traditional grandeur for a highly sustainable contemporary home designed for easy living and entertaining. The build was not without its challenges: Tandridge Council had a long standing planning policy that new builds should match the traditional vernacular of the area. Our clients did not want planning restrictions to preclude them pushing the boundaries of contemporary design to create an iconic home they could be proud of.
Another challenge was the sloping topography of the site which threatened to limit the overall footprint of the house and surrounding landscapes. Designs would need to overcome the confines of the site incorporating 480m2 of living space whilst making the most of its setting and the Surrey Downs beyond.
Furthermore, the house was to be both easy and cost effective to maintain with careful attention to renewable energy sources and sustainable materials. Dyer Grimes Architects won approval of the planners by incorporating a three-tiered structure within the sloping site and maximizing the privacy afforded by surrounding trees. The cantilevered design of the house creates the illusion that the structure is hovering effortlessly in mid-air above its own reflection in the glass-ended swimming pool below. This combines, to stunning effect, with extensive glazing throughout which draws the surrounding landscape into the house and maximizes views from the first floor of the Surrey Hills beyond.
It also answers the full brief of the client who first and foremost wanted a house to entertain in. Arranged around a generous entrance hall, the main living spaces comprise of large sliding walls which disappear into pockets to allow the living, dining and reception rooms to become one open plan space perfect for hosting parties.
The clever structural design and innovative construction methods incorporate slender steel columns, high performance glazing and an advanced insulated render system. It is enhanced by intricate detailing including a shadow gap wrapping around the building between ground and first floor levels, stained hardwood panels to complement the crisp white render, and a feature glass and timber stair. Sustainability and low maintenance was also integral to the brief. White Lodge provides 12% of its energy usage from renewable sources. With a thermally efficient envelope, the under-floor heating system is powered by the combination of an air source heat pump, solar hot water panels and super efficient gas boiler. The result – White Lodge costs our clients a fifth of the running costs of their former 4 acre listed country estate.
In the words of the owners:” We set out to push the boundaries of ‘country living’ and create a house in which we could live and entertain effortlessly, and without the ongoing maintenance costs of a period country estate. As soon as we met Dyer Grimes Architects we knew we could realize our dream – but we didn’t envisage that the end result would win us such accolades. Hailed a ‘Modern Marvel’ by the Evening Standard and in demand by TV and film locations companies, we’ve even had Ridley Scott’s team knocking on our door.”Location: Oxted, Surrey UK
Architects: Dyer Grimes Architects
Project name: White Lodge