The Farmstead House

Situated within the Metropolitan Greenbelt, the proposal replaces the existing property and draws upon historic farmstead principles to create a series of interconnecting ‘barn-inspired’ structures; each housing different functions within the property.

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  • A principle black timber ‘barn’ forms the central axis of the house and contains all formal entertainment spaces, as well as the primary bedrooms on the first floor. The main entrance to the house is located at the centre of the barn and features a minstrel gallery, encapsulating the concept of a grand country estate.  

    A smaller two-storey barn sits parallel to the principle building; featuring a library, study and plant room on the ground floor with additional bedrooms above.  To respond to the context and reduce the visual impact on the local surroundings, the two-storey structures are inspired by Berkshire Farmsteads, which feature a low-level masonry plinth with black horizontal timber cladding above.

  • 3D visualisations, The Cowshed

  • Primary family spaces, a gymnasium and a replacement swimming pool are housed within a series of single-storey barns. Positioned perpendicular to the primary buildings, these create a central courtyard and several rear gardens. Pre-treated cedar cladding wraps the external walls and roof to provide a lighter aesthetic in direct contrast to the black timber of the larger barns.

  • The concept celebrates the notion of a series of interconnected barns.

  • "When designing a property of this scale; the application of farmstead principles has allowed us to separate the different functions into a rational layout and clearly define primary living, formal & ancillary spaces."
    Gavin Watts - Director, Define Architects
  • Original hand sketch portraying key architectural narratives.

  • The central courtyard creates a semi-enclosed entrance to the property and naturally separates key spaces across the scheme; whilst also allowing sunlight to penetrate areas on the eastern boundary throughout the day. To connect the different elements of the property, transparent glass links are proposed. These lightweight connections provide functional circulation, while capturing views through to the courtyard and looking inward from key areas within the site.

    To prevent over-bearing on the eastern edge of the site, the proposed building line has been moved further inbound compared to the existing building footprint. Principle views from the house focus inwards across the site, shielding views from the boundary as well as maximising the exposure of key family spaces to sunlight. To minimise the visual impact of the proposal, all two-storey massing has been orientated perpendicular to the site edge.

Project information

Private Client

Waltham St Lawrence, Berkshire

Private Residential

Architecture, Project Management


Project Team:
Gavin Watts
Joe Misselbrook

Project Team:
David Ayre - Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt
Patrick Swift - APS Associates
Mark Williams - Engineeria
Marc Selligman - Milieu Consult
Jonathan Walton - Pegasus Planning

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