Marks Barfield reach for the sky with ambitious elevating residential project
When Marks Barfield was presented with a challenging brief to design ‘the most incredible living experience in the world’, the possibilities must have seemed endless. The architecture firm behind the London Eye settled on an elaborate plan which falls under the same regulations as a fairground attraction, filling the specification perfectly. Whilst the prospective plot is hidden in an undisclosed location somewhere in the south of England, we can be sure that the surrounding environment is something of a beauty spot, as the design sports a tinted, mirrored glass façade to reflect the immediate landscape.
It is not just the reflective façade that hints at a scenic location however. Composed of four separate rectangular spaces, structural columns elevate two of these zones into the air to a height of 130ft, providing unparalleled panoramic views across the surrounding scenery. Marks Barfield suggest that the kinetic aspect of the structure ‘concentrates the relationship between the villa, the viewer and its environment’. The supporting column rises from a hole 150ft deep and, at an elevation of only 10cm per second, this is certainly ‘no white-knuckle ride’.
Although it may have a hefty £10m price tag, Marks Barfield maintains that versions of the Villa Hush Hush design can be adapted for a variety of budgets and purposes. Such an ambitious project demands a range of expert input from a variety of sources, so not surprisingly Marks Barfield called on the help of Candy & Candy to design a bespoke interior and engineers Atelier One to design the complex lifting mechanism which pushes the support column up out of the ground. Planners approved the design after only six months, but suggested that the elevation of 130ft be reduced to just 56ft.