We were asked to design a glamourous contemporary house in Berkshire.  It replaces an existing dwelling that one of the clients had grown up in. The design was required to allow the owners to entertain and accommodate guests, and create a functional home for their family of six.

Studio Name: Gregory Phillips Architects
Design Team: Gregory Phillips and James Shelton at Gregory Phillips Architects
Area: 550m2
Year: 2019
Location: Berkshire
Consultants: Gregory Phillips Architects, Heyne Tillet Steel structural engineers
Photography Credits: Mel Yates
Other Credits: RelicPride Construction

Berkshire House II by Gregory Phillips Architects - Sheet5
©Mel Yates

The front of the house is designed to be more solid and formal, the public made up of a series of solid forms, largely constructed from handmade brick. In front of the house an entrance courtyard softens the. The rear of the building by contrast is light and open, timber cubic forms with minimal structure beneath that maximise the views across the landscape.

The house features a double-height hall which forms the centrepiece of the building and includes six-metre tall sliding glazed doors.

Berkshire House II by Gregory Phillips Architects - Sheet7
©Mel Yates

This space acts as a generous circulation space and it provides a dramatic reception and dining space. Externally, the hall provides a visual break in the facades.

It was imperative to conserve the natural beauty of the site. The design ensured that no trees required removal.

Balconies at first-floor akin to a tree-house, provide shade for the bedrooms and expansive glazing below. In winter, the low sun provides warmth.

Berkshire House II by Gregory Phillips Architects - Sheet9
©Mel Yates

The clients wanted a modern building of timeless quality. A palette of ‘raw’ materials was used. Handmade bricks and thick-cut sections of cedar are used to clad highly-insulated lightweight walls between a structural steel frame.

We have created an award winning exciting and bold alternative to typical suburban architecture.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.