Location: Leominster, Herefordshire
Client: Stephanie and Alex Wilson
Contractor: A&J Ralph
Size: 198 sqm, 2100 sq ft
This modular-style, black barn home distinctly fits into the Herefordshire countryside, hunkered down within a cutting to reduce its visual impact and integrate with the local area.
Built on the site of homeowner Stephanie’s grandparents’ farm, the house is the culmination of Stephanie’s 20-year quest to return to live in a place she’s loved since her childhood.
The need to develop a strong sense of place came to define the project, creating a home featured in the 2018 series of Grand Designs on Channel 4.
Jessica was approached in 2016 by Stephanie, a childhood friend who had long dreamt to live on the land belonging to her late grandfather. With a vision focussed on the place and land rather than the architecture, a radical design was needed to fully realise her ideal home within budget.
Stolon acted as both architect and project manager, ensuring that a high level of care and control was consistent throughout the build which was strengthened by such a strong relationship with the client.
"Stolon Studio has been amazing in taking our initial and vague ideas of the type of house we wanted to live in and turning those ideas into the most amazing house we could have ever imagined we would live in. So amazing that we have been featured on Grand Designs 2018 series. They designed and planned everything, pushing us out of our comfort zone with some materials and ideas, but guiding us through why and how these would work, and look amazing. And boy did they get it right!
"They designed an amazing and striking exterior, together with an interior that complimented the exterior - flowing from inside to out, giving continuity to the whole house design. They kept us on budget, knowing the best place to source materials and products from and they even designed and made some of the interior designer items too. They really are the whole package when it comes to designing your dream home. We couldn't recommend them enough!"
~ Steph, Alex, Olly and Lydia Wilson
This relationship, one that stretches back decades, is arguably why such a strong sense of place has been created. The main aim of the design was to make it of its place and personal to the client and their family. The design needed to feel comfortable in its place, whilst still being aspirational, efficient and elegant.
Despite the limited budget, the framing of views with meticulous care creates a strong connection to the surrounding area. From inside, every window is like a painting – portrait, landscape, panorama, small vignette - carefully designed to frame the view of sky, rolling fields, wildflowers or rock.
The connection between indoor and outdoor is just as evident at night, as those same windows offering framed views outward create a composition of different internal worlds - the kitchen counter, the entrance hall screen and sculptural light, lofty bathroom, soaring climbing wall and the sumptuous master bedroom.
The trust between the client and architect also enabled the exploration of some of our product designs to enhance the house- the sculptural light in the entrance hallway and playful 'looplegs' being contemporary reinventions of familiar products.