Ardbrae – a dwelling house on a small rocky multi-levelled site, at the end of a lane, at the top of a hill, is the result of a client’s wishes for a fun modern house. It maximises space, frames magnificent views and connects into the limited garden space.
The design responds to the site, context and orientation with a subtle curve following the road edge and a dramatic cantilever to contrast the rock and capture the spectacular hill top view. The house is complex with accommodation over four levels and connection to the changing outside ground levels on three of those floors. A lower basement plant room, wine cellar and storage room is accessed from the garden or secret staircase from the house. Entry to the house happens above this level via a galvanized steel ramp with integral handrails and planters.
This lower ground floor accommodates entrance points, utility and bedroom spaces allowing the upper ground plan to have a clear open layout for the primary living and kitchen areas with connection to the upper garden. The tiny top floor accommodates a home office and guest room. Parking is cleverly located under the primary living floor where it bridges between the rock and lower ground zone.
A galvanized steel frame was key to the delivery of this building to create the vast cantilever, bridging structure, gentle curving form and integration into the complex ground levels alongside reducing build time and impact on site. As well as the primary structure, galvanized steel was used to create delicate roof edge details with exposed channels, outriggers and guttering.
This was all erected on site to form a clear workable frame which was then infilled with timber and insulated. Galvanized detailing continued with external handrails, protective barriers, downpipes, garden edges and planters. Further types of metal work are used throughout the project including powder coated stairs, black zinc soffits and flashing details, galvanized pink powder coated balcony column and aluminium framed windows. Metals were chosen as a key material, offering long lasting, quality and durable finishes around and within the building. The galvanized finishes compliment the key cladding finishes of natural Whinstone (from the site) used at the base level coming out the ground with a timber effect cladding board above. The cladding boards blend from darker shades up to lighter colours at the top, reflecting the trees behind as they thin out and disperse into sky.
The house is very energy efficient and features renewable technologies including solar PV panels and ground source heat pump as well as having heavily insulated walls, high performance triple glazed windows, underfloor heating, a mechanical ventilation system and a green roof seen from the upper drive and garden.
(Content provided by ataSTUDIO)
Photos © Douglas Gibb Photography, ataSTUDIO