Eden House – A bespoke family home
key description: a contemporary bespoke family house
client: private client
borough: Dacorum Borough Council, Hertfordshire
The Eden House project consisted of a new build “one off” grand design house to be built on the land which formed part of the garden for the existing house. To enable this new dwelling, it was also required to carry out minor alterations, including a small extension and internal changes, to the existing house.
Unit One Architects conducted several feasibility studies on the site before concluding that it would be possible for the land to support an additional dwelling and still adhere to the local planning policies of Dacorum Council.
During the initial analysis, we provided several different options for the client to consider. In the end, they decided to choose to retain the existing house and construct one contemporary bespoke home by it’s side.
Due to areas of shading by the large trees which sit upon the southern boundary, the proposed new dwelling was positioned to allow for the maximum benefit of the eastern and western light. Then the main living spaces at the rear would subsequently benefit from the afternoon and evening sun. This orientation ensured that overlooking issues were also avoided, whilst respecting both the tree protection areas and the existing dwelling to the north.
The house was designed with an open plan ground floor layout creating views through the property in order to provide a connection to wherever the sun is positioned. Having few internal walls also meant the whole ground floor could be flooded with sunlight. At first floor, the feature glazed gable to the west provides maximum light into the master bedroom whilst on the eastern gable we designed in a large rectangular feature window to the study and a set of double doors with a full height section of apex glazing to serve the guest bedroom.
At ground floor level a large hallway leads from the front door all the way through the property, linking the spaces and also providing a view through to the rear garden spaces. An open staircase leads up to the first floor, which is lit from 180 degrees due to the glazed strip.
This family home is a good example of considered design. Not only were changes made from the outset in order to consider the impact on neighbouring properties but we were also able to achieve a design which is attentive, aesthetically pleasing but most importantly, one which met the needs of our client and the lifestyle in which they live. It is a remarkable testament to what can be achieved with a strong design concept, plenty of research and a clear set of goals.
Images are supplied by and a copyright of Sophie Mutevelian.