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Spratley nets planning for rural home

[Project data + plans] Spratley Studios has won the green light for this £750,000 home in a ‘sensitive rural location’ near Henley-on-Thames

The 440m² corten steel clad scheme, which was approved ‘unanimously’ by South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee, will replace a smaller 1960s brick and tile clad house.

Sitting at the western most edge of Peppard Common, the Beechwood project aims to meet level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

The architect’s view

While the range of ages and types of dwelling in this area, at the western most edge of Peppard Common, has resulted in little overwhelming design style locally, there is limited modern influence generally. By developing a contemporary design born from the narrative of the site and a re-interpretation of the vernacular buildings of South Oxfordshire, the architect has created a modern aesthetic that is visually arresting but not out of keeping. A clear hierarchy of elements, combined with a low-slung, flat-roofed form, enables the building to nestle comfortably into the site with minimal impact on the surrounding area. In fact, the dwelling is completely obscured by the existing landscape when viewed from the south in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

An autumnal palette of materials pushes conventional design boundaries and lends itself harmoniously to the surrounding woodland setting. The delicate wrapping of glazed walls in a seemingly heavy weathered steel hood creates a balance of heavy and lightweight, dark and light, solid and transparent that is engaging to the viewer and maximizes views both through and from the house. The weathering steel ensures the appearance will soften with age and together with the dark brick looks to re-create the essence of the local black timber clad, clay tile-roofed vernacular buildings.  

Project data

Architects:  Spratley Studios 
Location:  Gallowstree Common (nearr Henley-on-Thames) 
Type Of Project:  New build replacement dwelling 
Structural Engineers: TBC
Project Architect:  Adam Dodgson 
Design Team:  Adam Dodgson, Jeremy Spratley 
Client:  Private 
Funding:  Private 
Tender date:  August 2012 
Start on site date:  October 2012 
Contract duration:  Approx 10 Months (TBC) 
Gross internal floor area:  Spratley Studios 
Form of contract and/or procurement:  JCT IFC, Traditional procurement  
Total cost:
  Approx £750,000          
M&e consultant: 
Quantity surveyor: TBC
Lighting consultant: TBC  
Main contractor: 
Selected subcontractors and suppliers: TBC 
Annual co2 emissions:  Level 5/6 CFSH’s

Trudy Evans, Marketing Manager at Spratley Studios on 01491 411277 or

For further information on Spratley Studios please

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