The Arc House Hertfordshire
Based in the peaceful rural setting of the Hertfordshire countryside this one-off house build looks to embrace and connect with its beautiful surroundings. Having inherited the basic concept design which drove the circular sweeping form of the building, working with the client we looked to rationalise the external appearance through detailed design, including considered fenestration placement and materiality, whilst producing flowing internal spaces that catered to the evolving brief.
On approach from the meandering country road and driveway the two dominating curved walls and striking brick composition – the mixing of two different brick formats in a seemingly ‘random’ pattern – gives the building solidity and grounding, as if the walls have stood for centuries and will for centuries more. The use of a clear datum line picking up the window heads, the change of pattern with protruding bricks above this and the gradual lightening of the brick courses as the roof sweeps up add interest, emphasising the form’s curvature, whilst simultaneously domesticating the scale of this grand building.
Internally the same curved brick wall, combined with the punctures of light created by the tall slender windows, draw the user deeper into the building along the single corridor, breaking off this processional route for each bedroom before climbing the staircase at the end up to the more private master bedroom space. With the large brick walls providing privacy and protection from the road at the front, the building’s form and extensive glazing on the south elevation unashamedly expose the users to the picturesque scenery of the surrounding fields with this visual connection maintained from all major rooms in this building.
Sustainability was also a key consideration in the design of this building incorporating renewable energy and sustainable technologies – specifically the use of PVs on the roof, an MVHR system for ventilation throughout the house and an air source heat pump for heating the building.