Cobham House is a one-off home on a private estate in Surrey, and replaces the non-descript existing house that sat on the secluded site, surrounded by mature English Oak trees.
Our response to the clients’ brief was partly driven by an over-arching contemporary and minimal design aesthetic which allows the design to be both monolithic yet delicate. Crisp details and clean lines of windows and flashings balance the flat planes of brickwork, which appear almost sculptural in form.
The layout of the house comes from functionality and a strong connection with natural light. All of the primary accommodation has been orientated to benefit from south and west daylight. Living areas and bedrooms benefit from afternoon and evening sunlight, all with direct access to external spaces which overlook the pool and gardens.
A sheltered entrance courtyard, with feature specimen tree, contains a large east-facing window to flood the kitchen and double-height hallway with morning light. Large areas of glazing help to blur the boundary between inside and out, so that the external terraces feel like extensions of the rooms.
The pale long-format brick used externally emphasises the horizontal planes, and brings a more contemporary feel to an otherwise traditional material. Internally, the material palette is restrained and functional in nature. The use of simple oak joinery, blackened steel detailing and concrete flooring creates a calm but robust atmosphere – bringing family-friendly requirements together with grown-up elegance and composure. This, coupled with the exposed brickwork and warm white plastered finish of the walls, ensures that the focus remains on the mature landscaping outside, rather than on fussy detailing or showy materials.