Beech Cottage

Western Design Architects

Beech Cottage
Child Okeford, Dorset

A Contemporary house with natural influences in Dorset.

The new house is designed to maximize its location on a long level plateau, with large south facing windows to frame the distant views across the countryside and the large Poplar situated in the centre of the site.

The house is divided into two halves linked by glass with an internal glass bridge. The first part, clad in silvered vertical cedar timber, houses the bedrooms and bathrooms, with discreet views to the gardens. This is connected to the second part, containing the living room and large kitchen. This is constructed of white painted brick, offering a contrast to the timber and giving a nod to the local vernacular.

The monopitched natural sedum roof, helps it to bed the house into its natural setting. The planting from the roof is seeding so well that it has colonised the gabion walls, used for the landscaping, as a secondary surface. This has added an unexpected softening to the gabion walls that enhances the overall scheme.

A water channel around part of the perimeter of the building adds to the tranquil setting, offering an opportunity for the sunlight to reflect and play into the internal spaces of the glass link.

The overall design of the house is a well-considered contemporary contribution in the conservation area, providing local and natural materials in a dynamic composition that is in tune with contemporary living.