Situated in a prominent location overlooking the city of Winchester and its beautiful surrounding countryside stands Four Views. This striking upside-down build contrasts with its conventional neighbours, displaying a flat overhanging roof, dark grey brick, cedar cladding and grey aluminium framed windows.
In 2011, we were approached by a couple wishing to build a new house. They wanted a life experience to immerse themselves in, having recently lost a daughter; a project that would give them a positive focus and a fresh start for them and their family. Taking responsibility for their brief very seriously, research into building a house that could help them move forward, heal and bring them happiness began. Through extensive research we found a wealth of information on the connection between good architecture and its positive effects on restoring health. We were given a ‘free hand’ with its design, around a wish for a garden within.
The conceptual drive behind his house was the principle of the 3 N’s: Nature, Natural light and Natural air. The form of the replacement house is defined by four interlocking boxes, the negative space at their centre forms a ‘Zen’ garden, with a single olive tree at its heart. This simple layout became the foundation on which the principles of the 3N’s could be built, allowing them to be incorporated into all aspects of the design. A connection to nature has long been believed as good for one’s body and soul. This house connects with nature through three stunning, far reaching views of the South Downs. The long views inspiring the couple to look forward to the future, the courtyard giving space for inward private and reflective times. Subsequently, the house has become known as 4 Views.
The extensive glazing to walls, roof lights and open central garden allow natural light to flood the upper floor, giving a generous feeling of space. The skylights create an enchanting backdrop to the interior, the spaces constantly alive with light and shadow from passing clouds, providing a stimulating continual connection to the elements. Large sliding panels of glass to the primary elevation and courtyard ensure natural ventilation and also a free flow of natural fresh air.
The bedrooms and snug are intentionally darker, giving a cosier retreat downstairs. Views from here frame the garden, contrasting the extended views from the first floor and in turn emphasising the ground floor as a private retreat for the family. The courtyard, large balcony and huge covered patio are all designed to offer healthy outdoor living options regardless of weather. The materials and fittings are simple and natural to evoke and promote a sense of calm. The cedar cladding cocoons the house internally and externally, and the delicate scent from this creates a beautiful tranquil place to live in.
AR Design Studio is a RIBA certified architects practice, based in Winchester, Hampshire, specialising in the delivery of elegant and imaginative contemporary new homes, extensions, renovations and mulit-plot developments. AR Design Studio’s architectural expertise and flair has been continuously recognised by winning a number of prestigious industry awards such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2012 Downland Prize, Civic Trust Award, Best of Houzz Award, Federation of Master Builders Award and Daily Telegraph Small House of the Year Award. With a comprehensive knowledge of planning, AR Design Studio has built a stunning portfolio of completed residential projects. It is also a specialist designer of waterfront homes with a deep understanding of how to fully experience the light, sound and atmosphere water creates.Location: Winchester, UK
Architect: AR Design Studio | Andy Ramus, Laura Locke Project name: 4 Views Completion: February 2014 Photographer: Martin Gardner