A poetic material narrative borne out of its site
Skene Catling de la Pena for Lord Rothschild
Contract value: Undisclosed
Building of the Year
Part of a wider estate and designed as accommodation for visitors as well as artists, the building is split into a main house and annexe and is driven by a poetic material narrative wholly borne out of its site – resting on a seam of flint geology. It is conceived as a part of that same geology, rising out of the ground. Starting as knapped flint at its base, it changes in construction as it ascends to become smooth chalk walling it is highest point.
Internally, the spaces frame the landscape in a rich sequence, with views that include a small rivulet of water that snakes through the main part of the house. The architects worked with specialist skilled craftsmen to achieve the requisite level of detailing, under the patronage of the client, to create a rare one-off design with an ethereal narrative that is an object not in, but of, the landscape.