The House That Never Was – Part 1 – A Yorkshire Modernist Dream Deferred

Posted: 30 May 2024

Take a glimpse into an unrealised architectural vision, somewhere in the heart of Yorkshire. Our team was challenged to design a bespoke, high-quality residence that captured the essence of mid-20th century modernism while seamlessly integrating with the surrounding conservation area and wooded landscape.

A Harmonious Blend of Tradition and Modernity

The proposed design featured an interesting contrast of styles. A single-story pitched roof block, with a distinctive Palladian window, nestled close to the roadside, embraced the traditional architectural character of the neighbourhood. This structure gracefully transitioned into a sunken, two-story modern block, its flat roofline disappearing into the landscape, while open-plan living spaces welcomed abundant natural light.

Sustainable Materials for Enduring Elegance

We envisioned a harmonious blend of high-quality natural materials that would age gracefully and minimise environmental impact. Long, slender limestone blocks would form the walls, crowned with stone roofing and accents of patinated copper. The warmth and character of “Yakisugi,” a Japanese technique of charring timber for protection and aesthetic enhancement, would grace sections of the exterior.

The Beauty and Resilience of Yakisugi

Yakisugi, a centuries-old Japanese tradition, goes beyond mere aesthetics. The controlled charring process seals the wood, enhancing its resistance to decay and insects while revealing the intricate beauty of the wood grain. We saw this technique as an opportunity to create a striking, sustainable, and enduring exterior.

A Vision Unrealised [For Now]

Despite receiving accolades for its innovative design, the project encountered a roadblock. The local planning authority, while applauding the quality of the proposal, ultimately declined to support the project before sbmitting a full Planning Application, due to concerns about the overall size of the building. This decision led the Client to put the project on hold, a disappointing outcome as we felt there was potential for a successful resolution, even if it required additional time and effort.

A Glimpse into What Could Have Been

We remain hopeful that this modernist haven may one day see the light of day. In the meantime, we’re excited to share more of this captivating project with you. Stay tuned for future updates, including immersive fly-through videos that will bring this vision to life.

If you’re bouncing around ideas, or if you’re ready to…

...start your project, or anything in between - please do get in touch and we can kick things off with a chat.

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