Born from its geology, Oolite House cuts in and rises above its Cotswold surroundings
Oolite House is a family home nestled into the western escarpment of the Cotswold Hills. The topography and surrounding grain have shaped the form and massing to ensure the house sits comfortably within its context. The landscape and house are intertwined, bringing family life into immediate contact with the natural world outside.
The location of the house near Stroud is well known for its outcrops of Oolite limestone. This limestone famously formed the Cotswold Hills during the Jurassic period and is an extremely permeable material. Where it meets beds of clay, water is driven out in the form of springs. It is these springs that have been highly active in the formation of the deep and complex valleys. The ancient and poetic story of the local materials has been influential in the design of the house, establishing its sense of belonging within this impressive landscape.
Oolite House is made up of two splayed forms, split by a central feature staircase. The layout has been informed by the surrounding topography: A dominant form to the East emerges from the hillside, while the rest of the home is protectively concealed below the level of the terraces.
At the intermediate and lower levels, the home spills around the central courtyard. At the top level, only a single storey is visible, in keeping with the scale of the neighbouring property.
The site is entered via the upper part of the plot, where a covered walkway guides visitors around the house to the entrance, located at the lower level. The lawn stretches over the roof of the western wing, allowing views to remain completely open to the south and west. Thus it preserves the amenity of the neighboring properties, including the listed Lyday House.