- The Elements, a house for lots of friends by AR Design Studio
The architects from the English firm AR Design Studio are known to our readers for their great attention to the context of their buildings. This project - “The Elements” - is a house adjacent to the River Hamble in Hampshire. A building designed for a client who wanted a large home to host and entertain all their family and friends scattered around the world.
Responding to this brief and in order to guarantee privacy to each group of users, AR Design Studio structured the massing of the home into three blocks: one for guests one for family, and a connecting entrance block in the centre. A separate volume accommodates leisure activities. The ground floor is a shared zone focused on socialising and entertaining. The path of the sun tracks three garden zones and groups lifestyle activities based on daily rituals.
The Elements seeks to be as self-sufficient as possible and minimises both the visual and environmental impact of the building. So large roof overhangs provide passive solar shading in summer and expanses of sliding low-energy windows guarantee natural ventilation and solar gain in winter. A ground-source heat pump provides the main heating for the house and the pool, with additional power from solar thermal panels.
The double-insulated house is clad with Kebony timber, the eco-sustainable alternative to tropical wood, whose earthen tones complement and blend into the surrounding gardens and nature. The interiors of The Elements - like the whole project, the direct result of close collaboration between the client and AR Design Studio - provides spacious, light-filled spaces that underscore its focus on hospitality and wellbeing.
Architect: AR Design Studio
Project Architect: Laura Locke
Engineer: Barton Engineers
Location: Hampshire UK
Photographer: Martin Gardner