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FOSTER LOMAS

SMALL PROJECTS 2005

Photography by Jay Clark

The Thomas House is hidden in sloping woodland in London's green belt. A poorly oriented four-bedroom 1930s house, it suffered from lack of light, bad internal planning and a poor relationship with the surrounding landscape. It was to become a rural idyll for a City creative on a small budget. The four-word client brief was: unpredictable, entertaining, texture, light.

Unpredictable: using the drama of the sloping site and the existing building form. We inserted a double-height space into the core of the house and framed views of the surrounding landscape using panoramic windows.

Entertaining: through a series of flexible, flowing spaces that can be appropriated for different functions.

Texture: creating concentrations of rich materials and textures by selected craftspeople. English oak kitchen; iron fireslab; silk and glass balustrade; maple stair cladding.

Light: through new openings that also frame the woodland's seasonal changes.

The structural engineer was Allen Connisbee and Associates; quantity surveyor Henry Newman and Partners; contractor HJ Johnston and Son; metalworker Doverhay Forge Studios; cabinetmaker Michael Cort; glass by Stephen Truss; ironmongery by Izé.

Cost: £170,000

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