Claremont Road

Bath, 2021

A compact new house has been completed on the outskirts of Bath on a challenging brownfield site. Robustly constructed of a rich palette of natural materials, the flexible internal spaces, set around two courtyards, create a new home for a busy family.

The landlocked nature of the site and an interrogation of the client brief prompted designs for a modest three bedroom dwelling, with the flexible living areas ranged around two courtyard gardens capturing framed views of the sky. With a straightforward massing, delight is derived from the use of thoughtfully selected materials carefully assembled by skilled craftspeople including Bath ashlar stone sourced from a quarry just six kilometres distant.

Internally an enfilade of spaces allows glimpsed long views through rooms to the courtyards, and creates a rich ever changing light within the house.

The thoughtful use of vast concealed sliding doors enables the flexible reconfiguration of living spaces, allowing for different family activities to co exist peacefully and a sense of generosity that belies the house’s diminutive footprint, a key component of the client’s brief.

A hidden house

Bath, 2021

The surrounding Victorian fabric is characterised by well proportioned terraces and villas. Set amongst this formal grain, a series of nearby mews allow glimpses of the less rigid rear elevations of the formal streetscapes and a varied selection of small outbuildings. The house sits as a new neighbour to these informal backland structures.

The steeply sloping topography of the site is exploited, allowing the proposed single storey house to be largely hidden from view, and to maintain a subservient relationship with the surrounding villas. The construction of the house reuses sections of the previous garage structure, a practical approach to reducing embodied carbon and disruption to neighbours during construction. This creative reuse is supplemented with new structural elements built from budget materials elevated by rigorous detailing.

Taking a cue from the wealth of historic bay windows locally the fenestration is generous in scale and deeply recessed, creating a rich play of shadows across the facade. The robust timber framed windows, made by a local joiner, flood natural light deep into the rooms from the captured courtyard gardens.