Cider with Rosie
A NEW COTTAGE IN AN ORCHARD
A HANDCRAFTED HOUSE FOR THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANCIENT BUILDINGS THAT DEMONSTRATES THE BEST IN BRITISH CRAFTSMANSHIP. WE HOPE WILLIAM MORRIS WOULD APPROVE.
This project is for a site in a small Suffolk village and is a showcase for traditional craftsmanship. It is situated in the grounds of an orchard and is inspired by the ideas of William Morris and the work of The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. It is designed to be an inward-looking refuge, away from the pressure of modern life – a quiet and contemplative home that is warm, cosy and inspirational.
The house is very carefully designed to minimise its impact on the surroundings and divided into “living” and “sleeping” wings. The “living” part of the house is at right angles to the street and the “sleeping” part is partially sunken into the site and hidden behind a new knapped flint wall. This means that only a small gable is visible from the street and the overall scale of the building is substantially reduced.
The L-shaped plan creates a secret courtyard garden with a view over the orchard and neighbouring fields and allows all of the existing apple trees on the site to remain untouched. Under the gable end is a west facing entrance porch for sitting out in the evening and watching the world go by.
The generous entrance hall is located between the two wings of the house and contains an open fireplace and bay window seat overlooking the orchard. The house has a large open plan kitchen/dining/ living room along with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The interior is designed to promote British craftsmanship and a carefully selected palette of materials has been chosen to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. A handmade chalk floor is polished with beeswax and contrasts beautifully with the black glazed pantiles and lustrous dark grey flint walls.
The living area is open to the timber roof and has a small brick fireplace tucked into a corner. Sliding timber doors allows the room to completely open up into the orchard and create a seamless connection between inside and outside. The “farmhouse” kitchen is located at the centre of the house, with free standing oak units and an AGA range. All fixtures and fittings are brass and are handmade by a local craftsman.
The house is a modern take on traditional construction methods – a “breathing building” which omits the need for damp proof courses. It is a home which responds with the natural cycles in the weather and is in harmony with its natural setting.
CLIENT: The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings