New Country Houses by Dominic BradburyNew Country Houses by Dominic Bradbury

New Country Houses

byDominic Bradbury

Paperback | May 13, 2007

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A richly illustrated overview of fresh contemporary trends in the residential architecture of the countryside.

The thirty houses featured in this beautifully illustrated volume range from a Portuguese vacation home whose granite facade blends seamlessly into an ancient system of agricultural terraces to a Japanese family residence whose translucent walls glow like a paper lantern in the nighttime, but they all embody the same contemporary architectural trend: a radical shift in thinking about the residential architecture of the countryside. An increasing exodus from the stresses of urban living has brought a positive and powerful design consciousness out of the cities into new and challenging environments. New Country Houses explores how architects today seek to reinvent the country house and develop a new rural architecture for the twenty-first century, rather than simply remodeling or recreating the methods and manners of the past.

Exercising his keen eye for architectural style, the author divides the book thematically into four chapters which correspond to contemporary architects’ primary approaches to the challenge of designing for the countryside: organic, vernacular, contemporary, and experimental. The individual case studies within these chapters include insights from the architects themselves and are augmented by both detailed plans and elevations and no fewer than 175 full-color interior and exterior photographs. A full complement of supplementary features—an introduction tracing the history of the country house, a bibliography, and an index—ensures that this book will serve as a guide and inspiration to architects, their clients, and all readers who are interested in the aesthetically groundbreaking, flexible, and ecologically conscious way of living represented by today’s new country houses.
Dominic Bradbury is a freelance journalist and author whose books include Designers at Home, Morocco, and Mexico. He is also a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines such as The Daily Telegraph and House and Garden.
Title:New Country HousesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.75 × 9.75 × 0.73 inPublished:May 13, 2007Publisher:Abbeville Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0789208539

ISBN - 13:9780789208538

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Read from the Book

Excerpt from: New Country HousesChapter 1: OrganicWestlake House, Spacelab UKWith its simple cubic shape and glass frontage, Westlake House is a decidedly modern building within an isolated, rural setting. Yet its timber skin ties it to the surrounding woodland and fields, while the glazing allows a fluid relationship between inside and out. And as a low-cost new country home, it points to what can be achieved on a tight budget.The surroundings are idyllic: there is a woodland, open fields and a sense of calm and isolation, with no neighbors in sight. Given the difficulty of building a contemporary house in England in such a pot, with all of the country’s planning restrictions on rural new builds, it is a surprise to see Westlake House standing at all. Fortunately for its owners and architects—a derelict Victorian one—which gave them a precedent for a new building. The old house was torn down so that they could begin again with something that connected with the landscape and yet was modern, open plan, flexible and multifunctional. For John and Terri Westlake it involved a leap of faith. They decided that for the cost of renovating the Victorian ruin, they could have something completely new and bespoke, but tier budget was limited and the figures finely balances. They relied on their architects, SpacelabUK—a young practice for whom this was the first major residential commission—to deliver a home that was not only innovative but also affordable. Andrew Budgen of Spacelab says of the project: "The challenge was to get as much space as we could in an innovative way in a one-off house. It was about using relatively normal materials in a creative way within a simple structure. It is a one-off, but in a sense it became a prototype for a kind of house that could be built on a constrained budget and partly prefabricated. That was something we became more interested in as the job progressed."The regular box-like form—with a flat roof on a slight slope to aid rainwater drainage—and largely transparent façade recall a number of contemporary commercial and large-scale buildings, such as Norman Foster’s Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia, England. Westlake House takes its iconic shed-like form and translates it to a domestic scale and arena, with echoes, also of familiar agricultural warehouses common to the area.The tongue and groove timber cladding, over a plywood coat and a steel frame, reinforces the connections wit the form of barns and other rural wooden structures, while also forming a material bond wit ht surrounding woodland and suggesting an organic flavor in stark contrast tot he transparent modernity of the glazed sections of the house.Hardwood cedar cladding was the first preference, but with rising costs the Westlakes were forced into a compromise and chose a Scandinavian pine softwood, which will need treating every five years or so.The glass façade, with vast sliding glass doors opening onto a deck at exactly the same level as the internal floors, provides an easy transition between outdoors and in. Importantly, it creates a visual game in terms of proportions, suggesting that the house is larger than its modest floor plan allows, and promoting a sense of space and light. Indoors, the front section of the house is open plan with a double-height dining and sitting area leading to the kitchen. Above this is a projecting walkway landing, as well as part of the master bedroom, which overhangs the vid and has an internal window looking outward, across and through the glass façade. Upstairs, too, are a bathroom and children’s bedroom. Glass balustrading for the stairway and walkway increases the easy flow of light and the visual transparency of the space.The glazing of the façade, as well as other windows throughout, including small letterbox-style openings, constantly promotes connections with the landscape beyond and helps to frame certain views and vistas. The glass at the front of the house is coated with metal oxide, which has an insulating effect and helps to limit heat in the summer and conserve it in winter. Underfloor heating was also installed to simplify the space and maximize all available room.The final cost of the build, including demolition of the existing building, was £135,000. It created an original contemporary family home, connected to the landscape by its organic skin and its transparency of a kind all too rare in the English countryside. Continued interest in the project, particularly the prefabrication of many elements that were then slotted into place, proves the strong demand for such an approach in rural areas where there is little choice between period building stock, conveyor-belt estate-housing types and modern period pastiche.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents from: New Country Houses



Chapter 1 Organic
Molodeto House, Souto de Moura Archuitectos
Cavegn House, Ivan Cavegn
Single Family House, Bruckner & Bruckner
House on Mount Fuji, Satoshi Ocada
Westlake House, Spacelab UK
Rogers Residence, Westwork Architects

Chapter 2 Vernacular
Summer Residence, Henning Larsen
Willimann-Lotscher, Bearth & Doplazes Architekten
Yomiuri Guest House, Atelier Hitoshi Abe
Keenan Towerhouse, Marlon Blackwell
Sutterluty House, Dietrich Untertrifaller Architekten
Y House, Steven Holl
Red House, Jarmund/Vigsnaes Architects

Chapter 3 New Modern
Buchel House, Baumschlager & Eberle
Colorado House, Architecture Research Office
Mountain Guest House, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam
Alex + Mase house, Jesus Irisarri & Guadalupe Pinera
Berman House, Harry Seidler & Associates
Jacobs Ladder, Niall Mclaughlin
Oberwalder/Kutscha House, Buro Ko A La
La Casa, Elizabeth Wright Ingraham
Marte Single Family House, Marte & Marte
Sheep Farm House, Denton Corker Marshall

Chapter 4 Experimental
Casa Tagomago, Carlos Ferrater
M-House, Michael Jantzen
Casa de Blas, Alberto Campo Baeza
Naked House, Shigeru Ban
Visiting Artists House, Jim Jennings
Wye River House, Bellemo & Cat
The Butterfly House, Laurie Chetwood


Project Details


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Editorial Reviews

"New Country Houses looks at 30 houses from around the world that were created by architects seeking to reinvent the country house and develop a new rural architecture for the 21st century." — Journal News