At MAAPS we are constantly engaged with how the design of new buildings interact and sit purposefully within existing traditional neighbourhoods. Field House is a classic example of where our client loved the ambience of the location yet wished to create their own distinctive solution to fulfil their needs and contemporary aspirations.
Originally the site of a caretaker’s bungalow within the grounds of Southfield School for Girls, this project presented MAAPS not only with a unique location but also two seemingly impossible challenges: firstly, its detached suburban Edwardian context where the prospect of a contemporary building would be locally resisted; and secondly, the school itself with its attendant concerns regarding privacy, overlooking, and safeguarding.
In researching the history of the site, we kept being drawn to the intriguing and striking examples of the Art-Deco buildings peppered throughout the Barton and St Michael’s / Wicksteed estate – which in themselves were built as an expression of optimism and modernity during a time of change.
As we developed the design, a further contextual rationale began to emerge whereby the proposed house on Lewis Road effectively bookended the street with two distinct expressions of a modern family home spanning 90 years of architectural history.
Field House is designed as two massing elements; one brick; the other stucco. Its gentle curved elements, both within and external, pull subtle cues from the nearby ‘30’s architecture, softening the overall look of the building and providing the distinctive contemporary character our client hoped for.
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