I used to love playing in woods as a child. This translated in my teens and adult life to adventures in wider landscapes.

The starting point for our designs is landscape and the forces that shape it. We describe this process as ‘landscape facilitation’. Without a connection to the land a building runs the risk of being irrelevant or worse, a cancer in the landscape. We believe architecture and nature should co-exist.

Studio Name:Atelier Architecture & Design Ltd
Design Team: Stephen Melvin, Rebecca Cooper, Inge de Wet, Akshey Shah
Area: 350sqm
Year: 2018
Location: Hempstead Lane, HP4 2QJ
Consultants: Glaspool & Thais Structural Engineers; Infrstruct Civil Engineers; MES Energy Consultants; Robert Martell & Partners; Urban Rural Planning Solutions
Photography Credits: Dennis Gilbert
Other Credits: SIP Energy; IQ Glass; Canal Engineering; Premier Construction

La Madonnina by AA+D Atelier Arhcitecture+Design ltd - Sheet4
©Dennis Gilbert

In our modern house ‘La Madonnina’ we wanted to capture the essence of a beautiful remote place. To understand the unique blend of gravity, geology, weather, and ecology. How sunlight, water, soil, topography, trees, wind, flora, fauna, the sounds, and the view shape the site.

The design is generated by the view and by the tree presence. The building embraces the open landscape while nestling against the woodland. The architecture is adventurous. The master bedroom projects like a great overhang over the patio.

La Madonnina by AA+D Atelier Arhcitecture+Design ltd - Sheet5
©Dennis Gilbert

The entrance from the street is on the opposite side and hidden from the view. It leads to a sheltered courtyard with an olive tree.

Here there are fleeting glimpses of the landscape on the opposite side, but, understated, the surprise is withheld.

There is interest, however, in the variable mono pitch roofs sloping to the courtyard that recall steps in a river and a cascading waterfall. In nature, it is hard to find a more delightful and welcoming encounter than a waterfall.

©Dennis Gilbert

The arrival is complete, it is time to penetrate the home and discover its biggest surprise. Only when you enter the hallway, and glance through the glass stair screen to the expansive kitchen, that you experience the luxury of space, and turning to face the floor to ceiling glazing opposite, that you get the stunning view across uninterrupted landscape. PHOTOS

Drama unfolded, it is time to relax and enjoy the sanctuary of the open living space…


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