This glass home by AR Design Studio is a contemporary addition and renovation to a historic main house here in Winchester – the old Roman capital of England. (This detail will soon make sense, so read on.) Once an old and forgotten residence, the new extension breathes fresh life into an oldie but a goodie. The architects did their best to preserve the charm of the existing European style house, making minimal changes with maximum results. The outcome is a modern glass home plan amidst the lush garden and leafy trees.
The old and the new almost look like snapshots of two different houses pieced together. The contrast between the warm red brick exterior and the cool white walls and modern glazing is oddly intoxicating. The brick volume forms a C shape, working its way around this glazed living space and private courtyard area at the center.
The massive glass wall swings open to invite the outdoors into minimalist interiors. Even from the outside, but especially from the inside, the homeowner’s love of glass is clear – pun intended. Fittingly, he contacted AR Design Studio who are known for their extensive knowledge and practice in glass architecture.
This kitchen is a pleasure to work in, making prep and clean up less of a chore. With its ever present lush views and natural light, it’s a refreshing, energizing space to work and eat in.
The kitchen occupies a nook at one end of this sunny space, and another nook at the opposite end houses a living area / den area that is cozy and concealed – a perfect cocooning space that’s still part of the whole.
The glass ceiling brings blue sky inside in a modern touch that complements the contemporary details inside.
Directly under the glass ceiling, a glass-walled stairway leads down to the basement level. The glass enclosure leaves sight lines open and unobstructed from end to end of the living area.
And just to the right, another floating glass staircase leads up, leading to a glazed upper level and culminating in a massive picture window framing the heavens above.
The house has an almost gallery like look and feel, thanks to the tall ceilings, minimalist interior decor, and nooks for displaying art. The glass staircase is a sculptural element of contemporary art in and of itself.
The lower level is surprisingly as bright as the upper level, thanks to the white walls that reflect light and glazed open-to-above ceiling.
Even the bedroom and bathroom boast the same cool, modern palette of white and glass.
You would never expect that kind of bright white, light filled, minimal, modern interior, from an exterior that is its opposite in every way – warm, rustic, “homey” and lived in, showing the stains and wear of time on its brick exterior.
This old, disheveled home was utterly transformed, like Cinderella and her glass slipper. The glass really makes this house something special.
Check out the floor plans:
This interesting glass house design even has an intriguing story behind it. From the architects, “It is not every day that a body is found buried on your building site, but on a summer’s morning in 2012 this is exactly what happened while builders were laying foundations for RIBA award-winning architects AR Design Studio’s latest project. By 6pm they had found another 2. After the initial astonishment, the Police and later a team of Archaeologists were brought in who thankfully identified the remains as being of Roman origin. After a period of intense excavation, it was confirmed as a site of Archaeological importance when further evidence of Roman burials and defensive fortifications were uncovered, including the discovery of a rare Roman burial urn. Once the site was cleared of artifacts and the bodies taken to the local museum for research, work on the building could continue.”
AR Design Studio
photo credit: Martin Gardner