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a matter of scale – designing one-off houses

shedkm is well known for residential work, designing and delivering homes at a scale which allows us to stitch new developments into existing neighbourhoods and address wider placemaking. Less well known perhaps is our ongoing occasional work designing single or one-off houses.

We have recently completed bespoke houses for three of our existing clients, who have gone on to trust us with the most personal of projects – their own homes. As well as giving us the opportunity to develop a more personal and creative dialogue with valued clients, designing to support them in the various evolving circumstances of their lives, one-off houses are a chance for us to test and refine our ideas, working at a scale that throws details, geometry, materials, light and landscape into sharp focus.

Single houses can also present as many design challenges as larger schemes. The conundrum of how to merge modernism with a sense of home, is something we have been exploring since our award-winning House for an Art Lover in 2015. Each of the three new projects addresses relationships between old and new, sensitive landscape settings and historic constraints.

For a client with a new young family, we have converted a 1950s thatched-roof house, formerly a tennis pavilion, on a lakeside site near Gatwick. Cottage on a Lake is a contemporary and environmentally-responsive new home which includes a separate studio building and extension, to maximise living space as well as views out to the surrounding landscape.

On a beautiful leafy site outside Manchester, we have created a new-build house for a growing family. House North West consists of a steel framed, glass box and features lots of flexible open space. Sliding glazed partitions blur the distinctions between indoor and outdoor spaces to seamlessly connect the house to its environment.

And in a pretty, historic leafy Cambridgeshire Village, reputedly the site of England’s oldest inn, we have built a new house for a client with a wish to stay in the village with a beautiful view. Churchside replaces an existing bungalow and sits adjacent a listed 13th Century Church, which has meant extensive local consultation and engagement with Historic England to refine our proposals.

Each of these projects has created a bespoke contemporary home, set sensitively within its surroundings, and given us the opportunity to explore a geometry which allows us to bring the outside in.