Sussex Residence by Charles Barclay Associates
Situated near Minsmere Bird Sanctuary in Suffolk, United Kingdom, this modern weekend house was designed by Charles Barclay Associates.
Description by Charles Barclay Associates
Charles Barclay was asked by one of his London clients to design a new weekend house on the site of an old pig farm near Minsmere Bird Sanctuary in Suffolk. The site is in effect a very large field, bound on two sides by woodland and with an avenue of oak trees on the third side. The house was to have a strong sense of connection with the surrounding landscape while also ‘holding its own’ with the large field, known by the client as the Prairie. Charles Barclay’s modern ‘Prairie House’ is single storey, made up of two conjoined L-shapes, one of which serves as a guest wing. The house has a strong sculptural presence on the site; its sloping roofs and tall glazed screens give fine views of the landscape and the Suffolk sky. The south-facing glazing allows positive solar gain in winter, while roof overhangs prevent over heating in summer. A raised terrace sited between the wings provides a sheltered outside ‘room’ and additional decks give views over the large farm pond nearby. A separate outbuilding featuring a bat attic provides a habitat for a colony of long-eared brown bats that formerly occupied the old farm cottage. The low-energy house is built using SIPS (structural insulated panel system) and clad in timber, with polished concrete floors and Crittal steel-framed windows. It won a RIBA Eastern Region award 2013.
Photography by Paul Craig