- AR Design Studio and Black House in Kent
“A contemporary dream home in our garden” was the client brief for the latest work by AR Design Studio, recently completed in Kent. The garden in question is in Kent and belongs to the clients' current residence, a delightful 15th century Tudor home, making it a very interesting request for architects who are experts at handling valuable existing buildings (link).
Before the design, the clients and designers went on an architectural tour of Kent to look for ideas that sprang forth from the territory. The traditional “net huts” in Hastings, where fishermen used to dry their nets, the black clad houses of Dungeness and even the garden of Sissinghurst Castle, home to writer Vita Sackville-West separated into a series of individual experiences hidden from each other by hedges or wall all inspired Black House.
The linear appearance of the black clad exterior, which the name references, is a response to the local materials, and the spatial division of the mentioned garden informs the distribution of the home's functional areas. Black House is divided into blocks by key site axes and each one is linked to a distinct aspect of the garden. You can only see the garden as a “whole” from the centre brick tower, like at Sissinghurst Castle, visible only from the writer's studio.
The 7-metre cantilevered kitchen looks like it's floating above the ground and is filled with natural light from the large sliding glass doors; the different parts of the house wrap around a central courtyard that provides year round sheltered outdoor space.
Black House by AR Studio Design is a true gem of contemporary architecture whose ties with the territory are rooted in the traditional local architecture by means of attentive research, with a new, modern take on the vernacular.
Project: AR Design Studio http://www.ardesignstudio.co.uk/
Location: Kent, UK
Images: Martin Gardner http://www.martingardner.com/