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Ushida Findlay wins green light for £10m country house

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Ushida Findlay Architects has won detailed planning permission for its '21st-century vision for modern country living' in the form of a land-hugging house. Grafton New Hall in Cheshire will cost about £10 million and feature four sandstone-clad fingers (pictured) which form the building's wings, said project architect Peter Maxwell. The twostorey house will include family and visitor wings; a culture wing with art gallery and 20-seat cinema; and a leisure wing with sauna, gym and a large internal and external pool.

'It will be stealthy in terms of architecture and look like a geological remnant from the past or something eroded over time, ' said Maxwell of the 3,800m 2design. The new building will stand 200 yards from the site of a 17th-century manor house that was gutted by fire and demolished in 1963.

The project client is the developer, Ferrario Burns Hood, while Ushida Findlay won a RIBA competition last July to design the building. It beat a shortlist of six comprising Calder Peel Partnership, Ian Simpson Architects, Hudson Featherstone, Edward Nash Architects and Humane Architecture Workshop, based in Bath.

Maxwell said the planning requirements insisted on the building 'being defined by truly exceptional architecture' and that the house went through extensive consultations with the public and Civic Trust. Builders are due on site in two months and it should take about two years to finish.

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