With the spirit of English country houses, the extensive project set on 84 acres provides home to three generations of a family in the idyllic Kentish countryside in the United Kingdom.

Project details

Project name
Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom
Architect
James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell
Products used
Keymer County Peg Antique
 

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom

Caring Wood, Kent, United Kingdom © James Morris Photographer

A contemporary take on English oast houses

The Caring Wood project was designed by architects James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell, who made sure the owners would get an extraordinary living environment, incorporating formal, common and private spaces. Due to its outstanding design, the project recently won the RIBA House of the Year 2017  Award.
 
The architects aimed for a design which would embrace the Kentish context and landscape, while providing a carbon-neutral response to climate change. A fundamental factor of the project was also to incorporate the spirit of local identity. The style of a traditional English oast house therefore came naturally to mind, as oast houses, which are buildings designed for drying hops as part of the beer brewing process, are very common in the area. The relationship with the landscape takes precedence, with the central core of the building and four oast towers growing from the contours of the hill. The four towers are set around a central inner courtyard, creating a gathering place for the residents and guests.

Sculptural roof made of traditional tiles

The roof is everything but ordinary – its design involves a combination of shapes and angles that demand a durable and adaptable roof tile. After an extensive search comparing suppliers and products, the architects agreed on handmade clay roof tiles. What convinced them to choose Keymer roof tiles, was firstly the natural aesthetic imbued with a distinctive finish, and secondly the design that made handling and laying a simple and easy process for the contractors. After a process of close cooperation between the architects and Keymer, the 153,000 locally sourced handmade clay tiles were delivered and installed in staged to create a striking roof for the country home.

To be involved in a project like this is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity. It is very unusual, but we had and still have a great relationship with the architects. One of our strengths at Keymer is project management, it’s what we do very well. Having one reliable main contact was really important. It’s one of the reasons we got to work on a project like this. - Christine Leadbeater, Business Development Manager for Keymer

The outstanding home project´s sustainability is addressed through a low-energy design and the use of clean green technologies, but also in the application of regional constructive form and locally manufactured materials. Having created the framework for the house and estate, it will now evolve to suit changing family needs, while the material will maintain their performance and aesthetic integrity.

 

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