menu-toggle

Nithurst Farm

Sussex, UK. 2017

This radical concrete house in the South Downs National Park is due for completion in 2018. The spaces of the house are inspired by the dystopian journey to find forbidden knowledge taken by the protagonists of Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker. In this film the entire landscape takes on the character of an invisible labyrinth, at the heart of which is a room, reputed to be a place where wishes come true. Like all quests, it is in part an inner journey. The plan of the house is tapered, creating a false-perspective - a ‘wobble in space-time’. The character of this space is informed by the perspective drawings of Vriedeman de Vries and by Palladio’s plan for the Villa Barbaro. It leads to the main south-facing sitting room - the house’s principal space. The concrete inner house is wrapped in a thick brick envelope - a modern house wrapped in a ruin. A ruin that appears to on the move. The building has a stepped form, echoing the shape of the hills that surround it. The proposed arched window openings in the east and west elevations of the house will give rhythm and ‘cadence’ to these elevations; they help to express the sense of weight in the walls and of distributed load; and they imply an order of geometry within the house. By contrast, the south elevation is articulated as a grid. This provides architectural balance to the building as a whole, and represents a key theme in the project – the relationship between chaos and order. The grid can be seen as representing order/culture and measure, standing in counterpoint to the chaos of untamed nature represented by the wooded hillside it faces. The south façade was inspired by Paul Nash’s painting ‘Mansions of the Dead’, in which winged creatures flit amongst grid like structures.

X
Text

Nithurst Farm