Oolite House is a proposed 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 area around Stroud, including Oakridge Lynch is well known for its outcrops of Oolite limestone. It 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.
Oolite House is constituted of two splayed forms, split by a central feature stair. The topography has informed the landscape treatment. The dominant form to the east emerges from the hillside, while the rest of the home is concealed below the level of the terraces.
At the intermediate and lower levels, the home spills around the central courtyard. While at the top level, only a single storey is visible while in keeping with the scale of the neighbouring property.
Entry to the site is via the upper part of the plot. A covered walkway guides visitors around the house to the entrance which is 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 neighbouring properties, including the listed Lyday House.
A thoughtful juxtaposition of stone, timber and glazing references the Cotswold vernacular, yet the overall architecture is contemporary and light.
The materiality is informed by the site’s existing stone walls by introducing additional stone to the facades that are bedded into the terraces.
The principal eastern form is clad in pre-weathered hardwood timber, selected to compliment the Cotswold stone. The timber-frame structure, expressed at the facade provides visual order to areas of fenestration, with glazing set back to reduce glare.