When space is not an issue, there are endless opportunities to create a residence that would suit any practical purpose and satisfy any aesthetic taste. To prove this, comes a spectacular project with the main idea of designing a holiday house where friends and family would be able to stay comfortably “at home” without invading the personal space of the main residence.
Set in the picturesque English countryside of Hampshire, within an existing farm stood a solid structure of a barn of 350sqm / 3767sqft. The owners came up with the idea of turning the building into a holiday family home, and invited the architects and designers from AMPS Arquitectura & Diseño to make this idea a reality. Accepting the challenge, the experts offered an architectural design based on the image of the contemporary double-pitched black timber cladded barns, and reinterpreting the design of the existing building they promised to create a building that would sit naturally within the surrounding country landscape. A promise well kept – meet the Friends Lab House!
The building exterior follows a design approach similar to that of the main farm house, introducing however contemporary structure, layout and finishes. The new house is designed in two levels. The ground floor is 2.20m high and the upper layer extends under a double pitched roof along the entire length of the building. Skylights provide plenty of natural light and a new half bay added over the area of the living room allows the house to open to the panorama of the southern fields.
Cladding is performed through stained in black contra-laminated panels of accoy timber covering the roof and the facades. Sliding doors hidden within the exterior walls provide a comfortable access to small private terraces, allowing the interior space to open out to the outdoor countryside scenery. To ensure high level of energy efficiency, the architects have used an industrial prefab construction method, an interconnected system of PV modules functioning as an electricity-producing unit to power the house, as well as a ground source heat pump and a borehole with a treatment facility to supply water.
The interior design of the house reveals an approach entirely opposite to the dark exterior. The indoor color palette is light and airy and features earthy textures and materials for the floors and the walls, such as limestone, mortex and chestnut timber.
There are two master bedrooms located at the west and east sides of the building. One is complemented by a private lookout to the surrounding landscape through a cantilevered marble desktop, while the other features a cozy meditation space offering soothing outdoor views.
Designed as a holiday family home, the house has two other rooms, designed for children. These involve the full height of the interior space to accommodate a playground, a study area and bedroom platforms atop.
Bathrooms are all individually styled, enjoy plenty of natural light through the skylights, and offer contemporary bathroom units and finishes. Each one features different shades of natural mineral colors matching the main colors of the encaustic tiles. One cannot but love the double mirrors in the master bathrooms featuring two intersecting circles with slim black edges – a subtle and respectful homage to the great architect Carlo Scarpa.
Photography: Imagen Subliminal