Cotswolds House

Oliver Leech Architects

: Engineer: Momentum

Cotswolds House is a new five-bedroom low-energy home designed by Oliver Leech Architects on the edge of the Cotswolds AONB. The house replaces an existing bungalow on a gently sloping one-acre site overlooking a small rural village.

The house comprises two intersecting pitched volumes that form an L-shape plan, clad in local stone and larch, topped with zinc and slate roofing. The two volumes, ‘the barn’ and ‘the wing’, meet at 100 degrees, designed to capture the perfect view and sit comfortably within the triangular site. The taller building has a street presence whilst the low lying wing is set down into the hillside, concealing sunken semi-basement bedrooms. The pre-fabricated engineered timber structure offers a highly-insulated air-tight shell, reducing overall energy consumption, supported by a heat pump and photovoltaic panels. The envelope of the building was factory-built of-site in panels and was erected in only two weeks, resulting in a vastly reduced programme and zero wastage on site. Materials play an integral role in balancing the tension between traditional and contemporary. A natural palette of stone and larch tie the exterior language of the home into the village setting, where stone homes are traditionally the norm. Zinc and slate tile roofing and aluminium window flashings echo the fabrics found in agricultural buildings in the region, but the generous proportions and clustered volumes set the tone for a modern dwelling. Natural materials continue inside too, where clay plaster, limestone floors and linen soft furnishings are offset by warm timbers and stone.