Described by the Sunday Times as “the most controversial home on the Thames”, this futuristic residential new build took more than a decade from inception to completion.
Pheasants replaces an ageing five bedroom bungalow of the same name. Construction was delayed for several years as planning permission was only obtained after a legal battle that went all the way to the High Court. The project started in 2003 and the owners finally moved in at the end of 2016.
The residence consists of a main two-storey house with five bedrooms and a smaller gatehouse with a one-bedroom flat upstairs. The ground floor of the main house is largely open plan with a kitchen and various living areas as well as one bedroom, while the other four bedrooms are on the first floor.
The finished concrete and glass house complete with reflective pool, Corten steel garden pavilion and pump house is set in an idyllic location adjacent to the River Thames, at Mill End, Hambleden, between Marlow and Henley.
The construction used large amounts of glass curtain walling, complimenting the minimalistic design, creating an open and airy ambience to the home and maximising the view of the surrounding scenery and garden. The open plan interior benefits from floor to ceiling glazing on two opposite sides of the house so that, from outside, it is possible to see right through the house to the garden beyond.
The clients did not want anything to spoil the clean uninhibited view through the frameless floor to ceiling glazing, so blinds were required to be invisible when not in use, however a window shading solution was needed that would protect occupants and furniture from the effects of solar heat gain and also provide privacy at night.
Floor to ceiling glazing is being incorporated more and more into both residential and commercial buildings. The trend towards reducing the carbon footprint of buildings, maximising natural daylight, reducing running costs and the emphasis on minimalistic appearances contributes to this. We are seeing an increased need for high-performance blind fabrics that cut heat and glare through these large expanses of glass whilst maintaining and not obstructing through-vision.
We recommended using automated roller blinds and a fabric that would protect furniture from harmful UV light, reduce heat and glare during sunny weather and provide privacy at night. Electric roller blinds are ideal for glazed curtain walling as they take up minimal space when not in use (typically no more than 100mm diameter when rolled up), can be lowered to any height and the single, flat piece of fabric does not distract from a modern interior design scheme.
The end result for the client is an unobtrusive window shading solution that does not compromise the minimalistic interior and fully integrated with the home automation system.
We installed our ShadeTech RBL-E electric roller blinds, manufactured in our own factory, powered with Somfy Sonesse motors and integrated with the I-Light home automation system. These were made with Betascreen 70 fabric with a 3% openness factor, which provides adequate protection from heat and glare whilst maintaining a view to the outside. DeltaBlock 70 fabric was used for the blinds installed to bedroom windows, to provide adequate room darkening.
Winner: RIBA South Award 2018
Winner: RIBA Project Architect of the Year Award 2018
What They Say
“Waverley designed, specified and installed 27 motorised blinds into our new home. They paid careful attention to detail, were able to meet design challenges, and right to the end of the project they were willing to adapt to changes in our programme” – Client
“This house is an extraordinary achievement both by the clients and by the architects. Creating the house has taken more than a decade, yet there is no evidence that anything has been downgraded or any difficulty sidestepped. It all works beautifully and the house is clearly a comfort and joy to the clients. Uncompromising and uplifting” – RIBA