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Font House

Winner of three 2018 RIBA East Midlands Awards: Regional Award, Conservation Award and the Project Architect Award which went to Diana Dina.  Our award entry can be found here on the RIBA Website.

A New House and Garden
Within the grounds of Grade I listed Nevill Holt lie three historic walled gardens dating from the seventeenth century. Recently restored kitchen and Italianate gardens are accompanied in the third enclosure by a new house designed by Gluckman Smith.

Contemporary Response to Site and Materials
Replacing a tired 1960s bungalow, the new south-facing house takes on a symmetrical form, standing clear of the surrounding historic walls. The material palette draws inspiration from the main hall with a series of hand-crafted bronze roofs set on ironstone facades and framed by ponds. The stone is worked by hand and carefully selected from quarries and reclaimed sources.

High-Quality Low-energy Detailing
A fabric-first approach to construction and careful detailing set a high standard for the quality of the building work and finishes. Together with the use of an air source heat pump this provides a comfortable yet low-energy building.

Landscape Design
To take account of the natural fall across the site, the garden takes on a tiered form. The south-facing terrace opens out onto a central lawn bordered by a fine contemporary planting scheme created by Rupert Golby. Planted species include yew and cornus controversa trees. Fresh water ponds either side of the terrace frame the entrance to the house. The ponds are fed by a pair of nineteenth century lead knucker dragons and bowls which were restored as part of the work. The main approach, via restored ironwork gates, is at the higher level and provides views across to the detailed bronze work of the roof.

Navigation of Complexities at Planning
Gluckman Smith successfully navigated the various complexities at planning associated with listed buildings and archaeology. The extent of proposed landscaping required a full archaeological excavation to be carried out across the site prior to the start of works.

Coordinated Interiors and Bespoke Finish
The interiors, developed in conjunction with interior designer Ann Boyd, balance a refined and intimate living space with an appropriate setting for entertaining. Bedroom wings flank a large pavilion room with a reclaimed brick fireplace at its centre, opening out directly onto a Yorkstone terrace. Slim-framed sliding screens are set on a flush threshold blurring the boundary between internal and external spaces.

Leading a Consultant team
A talented team of specialist consultants was led by Gluckman Smith including archaeological, planning and services consultants, specialist masons and water engineers.

Project Management and Reporting
The practice took the initiative in design and management of the project, providing high-quality reporting to the client and their private office. This project was delivered on time and to budget.

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