Competition was organiser Malcolm Reading Consultants’ first contest for a one-off private house
Jonathan Tuckey Design has won an invited competition to design a house on an undisclosed hillside plot overlooking the Weald of Kent, East Sussex and Surrey.
The practice saw off Feilden Fowles, Skene Catling de la Peña and John Pardey Architects to land the project, which has a budget of more than £1 million.
The client – a married couple who wish to remain anonymous – wanted a design with ‘elegance and timelessness’ and praised the winning scheme for how it appeared to have ‘always been there’.
They said: ‘It’s a house we can imagine in the winter as much as in the summer. With the strong brick chimney prominent in the landscape and linking to the hearths below, one can picture Christmas lunch in the almost refectory-like dining space, a huge log fire warming both the cook and the diners.
‘When the night closes in early, the living room opens up, with connections past the fireplace, bringing in light and activity from below and above – the very opposite of drawing the curtains.’
The competition was the first organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) for a one-off, private house. However, David Hamilton, director of projects at MRC, admitted there was ‘significant interest from clients in being able to access this level of talent’ and that they ‘would love to run more competitions for this kind of personal project’.
Hamilton said: ‘A house is a very special commission. It’s personal, it’s intimate; the owner has to live long-term with the outcome. It takes a degree of courage to open this to a competition but our client was very clear-sighted, knew the site to be extraordinary and felt that he and his wife wanted to leave something that would outlive them.
‘We chose the four teams by seeking a mix of experience and emerging talent in one-off house architecture. These are all firms at the top of their game.’
The practice will now work with the clients to finalise the brief before submitting a planning application in mid-2017.