Cunningham Hill Road
St Albans, UK
Project Orange was commissioned to design a new 800sqm house in St Albans for a private client.
The starting point for the new building takes its inspiration from its site and replaces a smaller and somewhat tired 1970s house. Located in a spacious suburb with large houses in a variety of styles, the plot is characterized by a profusion of mature trees. The presence of silver birch and fir trees, in particular, evoke the spirit of Scandinavia and suggest alternative traditions of Modernism.
The design of the house is defined by a game of point and counterpoint; a pristine white villa in a wooded natural landscape; the play of strict rectilinear form with fluid organic curves; the subtle juxtaposition of crisp white render and white painted brickwork with untreated natural oak.
The house is set well back from the road and comprises a principal two storey volume split along its length by a fully glazed circulation spine. The corners of these blocks are then anchored to the landscape by a series of additions and erosions; the projections of the garage wing and the swimming pool pavilion, the fluid timber enclosure to the study and the totem like chimney to the drawing room fireplace. The family accommodation is spread over two floors including an enfilade of formal reception and family rooms to the garden front, a cinema, a swimming pool and five en-suite bedrooms at first floor level, including a 92sq m master suite.