Caruso St John Architects

1993–1994
Location: Lincolnshire, UK
Client: Private Client
Project Status: Built

This small house stands in fenland on the edge of a village near Boston. Its site was distinctive for its sheltered position with a wide northern panorama over flat fields. On the south side, to the village, the new house makes a group with an old brick barn and mature trees, to enclose a densely planted and sheltered garden. The biggest windows of the house look north to the horizon and over the first field, which has now been cultivated as a wild flower meadow.

The major living space is conceived as a ‘hall’ around which are gathered the kitchen and bedrooms, all under the vault of the roof. This dramatic dome-like space gives the house a strong centre from which to look out over the expanse of the Fenlands. The plan is compact, providing generous social spaces within a limited floor area.

The house has a faceted shape, higher towards the distant views to the north and lower to the garden. The windows are of different sizes and appear randomly positioned, giving the house a strange scale and a naive quality like a child's drawing. The window openings are made with galvanised steel frames which cover the reveal of the brick wall, to give the brickwork the quality of a veneer and to make the walls seem sheer. The resulting volume takes its place within the simple and direct character of the buildings of the agricultural landscape.