Subtlety and sustainability see a house settling perfectly into its Oxfordshire meadowland surroundings
A simple form, closely connected to the landscape and highly sustainable. That’s just the freshwater swimming pool – but the house had to match too. That’s what architect Peter Feeny’s Oxfordshire clients wanted.
Set on the edge of a village, the house has now settled into its landscape, its oak cladding silvered down and softened by the green around it. The rectangular form is set into the slope of the site and kept to clean lines with hidden gutters and recessed windows and balconies.
Things that do grow out beyond the house include the south-facing pergola, with its own blinds to protect the house itself from solar gain. A CorTen screen also maintains the sense of a wilderness, hiding the view of parked cars from the house and creating a short, processional route through wildflower meadows that edge the building.
As the banks around the house drop away at the front, a lawn leads to the natural swimming pool – hidden from the fields beyond. To the side an orchard and kitchen garden further embed the house into the landscape – and generate energy using photovoltaic panels sited alongside the greenhouse. The garage’s flat roof is also used for solar cells.
Inside timber joinery brings even the smallest staircases to life as the handrails curl around them. But it is outside where the real life of this place asserts itself.