During the Second World War this magnificent building was used as an airbase and a shelter for no less than the USAF 381st Bombardment Group. What an amazing story for a building.
When the first commissioner laid eyes on the former building and the area – the initial response was: “Why would anyone want to live there?” There could have been a little girl’s dream cottage at the top, but that would have looked strange in comparison with the rest of the environment. That is probably why the farmhouse fits so nicely in the surroundings. Old barracks with bed areas and showers have been transformed into functional house quarters. The old farmhouse has now been completely transformed – now anyone would want to live there.
The Gray family who owns this very special house has transformed the interior to become a house like no other. James Gray who commissioned this project met the designer Cameron Scott at a timber framing conference in Wales where he was giving a presentation of timber frame and the use of metal in such a timber home. This meeting was the first step in building this unique house. The lady of the house – Claudia is responsible for the interior design.
The architecture of the house does echo the airbase but the primary driver of the design – is the regular family farmhouse. The great opportunity of building a new house at an old site – is that you can use modern material and modern installations such as double glazed and triple glazed windows to create a very thermal efficient house. This has been one of the main ideas behind the allies farmhouse.
The timber setup is made possible by the special steel detailing. The house thereby has a lot of other possibilities compared to other regular timber houses. The building is design as two linear elements lined together by two similar walkways – which form a nicely put courtyard in the middle. The courtyard provides the kids with a safe environment and a safe haven from that of working at a farm.
From the living room at ground floor to the children’s bedroom in the tower (with a 360 degree panoramic view) this house reveals stunning rooms. Theo, Stella and Silvia (the Gray kids) now live in a house they can only brag about in school.
If you imagine you were to start the experience from inside the house – you would never dream that the exterior look like this. All rooms are fully functional and up-to-date and the interior design is simply astonishing. So is the design from outside – but the contrast is beyond your imagination.
Structural engineer: Tim Hunter – Barry Honeysett Engineers
Builders: Andy Nott, David Jones & Russell Lane
Architectural Design: Cameron Scott – Timberdesign
Timber Frame : Don Rigby & Rob Williams – Carpenter Oak Limited
Location: Essex, UK
Windows and Doors: Rationel windows and doors
I’ve attached a zipfile containing seventeen 500px wide thumbnails. I can send you the images in full resolution if you like the case 🙂
In cooperation with Rationel Windows & Doors