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Jonathan Hendry wins planning for sixth 'country house clause' home

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Jonathan Hendry Architects has won approval for its sixth ‘country house clause’ home – an 892m² scheme in rural Lincolnshire

Inspired by an open-sided barn and set in a plantation of trees, the contemporary home in Barnoldby le Beck is split into four separate blocks, described as a ‘family of isolated pavilions’.

The Grimsby-based practice relied on Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework to win the go-ahead for the Kingsfield Pond project. The planning clause allows one-off, new-build houses to be constructed in open countryside under special circumstances.

According to the firm, the scheme’s ’low, broken-down form allows the building to blend softly into the environment’.

The studio is currently designing a seventh Paragraph 55 home at Woodlands Farm.

Architect’s view

The proposed site comprises a densely tree-planted northern boundary, with two ponds located towards the centre of the site and a number of mature trees to the southern edge.

When we began looking at the landscape characteristics which define Barnoldby le Beck, it soon became apparent that the man-made poplar tree woods planted around the northern and southern sides of the village become an important part of protecting and enclosing the perimeter of the village.

We found this image below of a simple open-sided barn at Great Limber fascinating. We’re interested in the way in which this simple structure has morphed its self within a group of tree and become a part of the trees. Its structural columns are trunk like and its roof is like the canopy of the trees.

The poplar trees were planted on a grid within the last 30 years; the intention was to forest the trees to make matches. This never happened and the trees remain a strong part of the villages landscape today.

Open barn hendry

 We made a physical model of the site, staking out the 3m-grid of trees. The question of how to organise the dwelling on the site became an important one. Do we simply stack the building in a conventional two-storey way? Or do we think about organising the different functions and spatial requirements of a dwelling so that for example eat, sleep and play have their own defined enclosure.

The placing of each building was determined by access, orientation, light, view and enclosure.

For example the storage building (1 below) needed to be close to the entrance to the site. This is where you would park your car and store gardening equipment. The entrance building (2) needs to be close to the place where you park or arrive at the house. This building also has a plant room, utility and quest bedroom. The separation of this building allows quests to have their own space while staying at the house. The utility and plant room are also away from the main bedrooms.

When you arrive at the house you can see the other buildings through a large glass wall. You go down a staircase into a basement that connects buildings 2,3 and 4 together, as you move towards building 3 you pass a swimming pool enclosed in a glass box on the right hand side. You can then either continue towards building 4 and go up a staircase into the kitchen or go up the stair in the end of the double-height space at the end of building 3.

We like the idea that the demarkation of the grid is alway retained. This is achieved by either a tree, a light on the floor, a structural column, or a ceiling light; the 3m grid is always complete. The model shows the structural columns supporting a simple canopy roof reinforce the idea of a gridded structure. These columns and roofs have morphed them selves together with the trees like the barn at Great Limber.

This way of organising a house as a series of buildings also allows different parts of the house to be environmentally controlled independently.

 Annotated model plan

Annotated model plan

Project data

Location Barnoldby le Beck, Lincolnshire
Type Paragraph 55 dwelling
Architect Jonathan Hendry Architects
Client Private
Start on site date Spring 2019
Gross internal floor area 892m²

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The 'simple canopy roof' is clearly a significant design element, but is surely devalued when it over-sails what reads as a fairly hefty roof edge beam on some sides but not others.

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