Architect: Nash Partnership
Bedrooms: Four beds, two ensuite
Cladding: Soft wood
A modern family oak frame house Bath
Orchard House, an oak frame house Bath, was built as a family residence on the footprint of a smaller rather tired 1970’s dwelling. The site, a former kitchen garden to a nearby Manor House, falls within the Bath Green Belt and the South Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is situated beyond the settlement limits of its village, adjoining a Conservation Area. The brief for this new family oak frame house Bath was to provide a building that sat gently within this sensitive landscape whilst providing the owners with a contemporary interior. The design explores a language of natural materials that will soften over time, and a simple form with visible oak structure evoking a rural timber framed barn. The low pitched roof with deep eaves offers shelter to the walls beneath and provides diverse habitats for wildlife.
Nash Partnership and Carpenter Oak & Woodland worked together to devise a wall construction that accommodates the seasonal movement of the oak frame and moisture transition through the structure, avoiding the use of thin external cover strips. The wall infill panels are of a lightweight construction coated with a self-coloured lime render and layered with horizontal riven oak laths. The brightness of the coloured render has been used as a contrast to the weathered oak structure. The anodised aluminium windows set adjacent to the oak reflect the soft natural hue of the timber. One of the principal criteria in selecting these external materials was that they would weather gracefully, thus eliminating the need for maintenance using paints and stains.
The lightweight walls contrast with one heavyweight stone faced masonry wall which together with the limestone faced ground floor slab provides thermal mass to help regulate the internal temperature of the building.
Inside, the bracing of the oak structure was purposefully concealed. The stainless steel cross bracing within partition walls combined with rebated columns allowing a flush plaster finish for a precise modern interior.
The result is a beautiful structure completely at ease in its rural setting and using the best of modern and traditional craftsmanship and technology to create a sustainable oak frame house Bath for the 21st century.