Positioned on the highest point in Gloucestershire overlooking the Wye Valley, this new house and landscape is conceived as a “gallery with people living in it”, showcasing an extensive collection of African Tribal Art.
Windward House was a late-Georgian farmhouse with several extensions and outbuildings. ABA restored and transformed the interior with a new triple-height gallery space, mezzanine and guest accommodation.
The second phase of the project, the ‘West Wing’, is a 300 m² extension positioned to interlock with the existing farmhouse. It is subtly modelled to echo the undulations of the adjacent meadows, while forming a low-key backdrop to the existing house.
The West Wing is conceived as a series of courtyards, creating sheltered ‘outdoor rooms’ that contrast with the distant landscape seen from upper levels. A carefully choreographed sequence of spaces meander from the transformed Georgian farmhouse to the West Wing’s expanding and contracting volumes. A recessed court shelters the entrance from the south; a deep first floor roof terrace takes in the spectacular view south to the Bristol Channel; the double-height living room overlooks a sloped pool of grasses and perennials.
Rooflights sculpt and funnel light from above, selectively illuminating both spaces and objects below. Walls are positioned to accommodate a number of paintings and a large collection of books. Windows frame the landscape as a work of art, with pieces from the owner’s collection as foreground.
The West Wing re-uses stone found on site, creating a sense of continuity with the landscape. Anthracite cladding, arranged in a variegated pattern, echoes the dark vertical shadows of woodland trees in the nearby Forest of Dean. Supporting a new stone-clad mass above, a mirror polished stainless steel volume reflects the nearby wildflower meadow creating a visual paradox of mass and weightlessness.
ABA is currently working on the third phase of this project, the Pool House, due for completion in 2017.