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Mary Duggan wins go-ahead for house and pavilion in rural Somerset

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Mary Duggan Architects has won planning permission for a new house and recreational pavilion within the former Redlynch estate in Somerset – an 18th-century landscaped park

Designed in collaboration with landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, the Aviaries scheme will replace a collection of agricultural buildings previously used as a dairy farm.

The client’s brief called for a home that could meet the ‘practical needs of a large family of diverse ages while fully embracing and enhancing the surrounding landscape’.

According to the practice, the site, which is close to the towns of Bruton, Castle Cary and Wincanton, sits within open, lightly wooded rolling countryside and consists of a mix of arable and grassland fields bounded by mature hedges and pockets of woodland’.

The firm added: ‘The gently undulating topography of the estate allows for far-reaching views across the surrounding landscape and the location of the proposed residence benefits from an especially generous outlook to the west, south and east.’

The house will be built from in-situ concrete, with the sand and stone sourced from local quarries, and feature a load-bearing façade poured in increments to produce a stratified appearance.

The separate pavilion will be built entirely from timber and will house a games and party room.

The practice said: ‘The notion of the pavilion as a displaced fragment of the body of the house pointed intuitively to the use of a different, lighter material – one of a less solid constitution – to suggest a process of dematerialisation brought about by the building’s separation from the house.’

The scheme is set to start on site in early summer 2019 and take 12 months to complete.

Md102 6

Model study of house facade (1:20)

Model study of house facade (1:20)

The architect’s view

The plan of the proposed private residence is conceived as an aggregation of six straight-sided forms, each of different sizes, arranged orthogonally around a central point (the house entrance/hallway).

The layout of rooms within the house follows a clear and readily identifiable structure: everyday living spaces (kitchen, living and dining room) are positioned in the south-east quarter, benefiting from morning and midday sun and uninterrupted views to a new lake; bedrooms are located in a two-storey block in the south-west quarter with views across the landscape; a sitting room, oriented west to take in the light of the setting sun, is positioned in the north-west quarter (twinned with a laundry and utility room, serving the main entrance); and in the north-east corner is located (at ground level) a library and study and (at first floor level) master bedroom, connected to ground by a concealed staircase.

Pockets of ground are drawn into the body of the house by virtue of the building’s volumetric arrangement. These are envisaged as ‘micro landscapes’ – miniature, controlled versions of the landscape onto which they spill – and act as soft visual foregrounds to the wilder agrarian landscape of the surrounding estate.

Mary duggan avairaies interior crop 2

Mary duggan avairaies interior crop 2

Visualisation of entrance hallway interior

The form of the building is strongly influenced by the Georgian lodge’s physical composition – an imposing, square volume with deeply-recessed window openings. The way in which the building engages with and responds to the ground, too, is inspired by the stepped walls of the former menagerie; the building volumes alter in height in response to the changing topographic condition, diminishing and growing in scale.

Qualities of spatial openness and of light played a key part in the conception of the house’s design, coupled with a strong desire to achieve a building from which a constant appreciation of the surrounding landscape might be possible. Accordingly, the scale of rooms and of the house’s window openings (permitting expansive views from within the house to the landscape) are generous. The result is a building characterised, on the outside, by a monolithic outer husk, punctured by an irregular arrangement of deep apertures; and, on the inside, by high-ceilinged living spaces, imbued with natural light.

A further aspect of the client’s brief involves the provision of a pavilion located within reasonable walking distance of the new dwelling, to facilitate the recreational needs of the family, alongside an outdoor swimming pool.

The final design for the pavilion consists of two square forms (of different height and scale) rotated about a central point: one (containing the games/party room) oriented in the general direction of the house; the other (containing the building’s ancillary/practical parts) oriented towards the lake. The squareness of the building’s volumetric composition is intended to relate to the form of the house and is conceived as a ‘fragment’ of the main house, connected by the sweeping line of the ha-ha wall.

Mary duggan avairaies interior crop

Mary duggan avairaies interior crop

Visualisation of kitchen and dining area interior

Project data

Project name The Aviaries
Lcation Somerset
Architect Mary Duggan Architects
Landscape designer Tom Stuart Smith
Structural engineer Webb Yates
Planning consultant Tibbalds
Programme Private residence and pavilion set within new landscape
Area 1,028 sqm2 gross internal (house and pavilion combined) - 137ha site area
Client private
Planning type full planning application
Current RIBA Stage 2+
Procurement Traditional
Construction budget Undisclosed

Mary duggan aviaries crop

Mary duggan aviaries crop


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