David Kohn Architects completes house on site of former stable block
A holiday home for Stuart Shave, a London-based gallerist, who grew up in Norfolk. The site is a former paddock on the edge of a working farm near the village of Haveringland, 8 miles north-west of Norwich. The land is flat with long views and large skies, sparsely populated with farms and round-tower churches. Rather than a single house, the project is conceived as an agglomeration of houses, from the scale of a niche to that of the landscape.
The house is entered through two small brick pavilions built within the ruins of a 19th century stable block. Precast concrete niches at each door evoke the memory of household Gods and mark the beginning of a sequence of houses that grow in scale as one moves through the interior. The largest space, the living room offers wide views back across the garden, past an open hearth, to the newly planted apple orchard and nut grove. The plan of the house has been echoed in the landscape to create rooms of wild grasses, flowers and trees each offering different degrees of remove from the house, to be enjoyed at different times of the day and year.
The contemporary construction and materials complete an, albeit fictional, ruin. The stereotomic elements – brick perimeter, concrete floor, brick pavilions – are overclad by lightweight tectonic elements – the profiled metal roof, crittall glazing and oak cladding. Consequently the seemingly familiar image of an agricultural barn gives way to a more complex proposition concerned with growth of the house over time.