Rombalds Lane, Ilkley

The new house is located to the rear of the clients existing residence, within a designated woodland, on a plateau surrounded by trees and at the edge of a steep slope to a road below. We worked closely with the client and the local authority to address the complexities of designing a new home on this challenging site, that celebrates its extraordinary position whilst retaining the integrity and value of the existing house and woodland.

The entrance is set into a stone garden wall which once through, the legibility of the plan is revealed and its connection to the setting. Light and space choreograph the areas that make up this home including: an open plan kitchen living and dining room, office, snug, formal living room, five bedrooms, a lower ground floor providing storage, plant space, utility room and games room/cinema.

In plan, the ground floor of the dwelling is organised into a “U” with a courtyard within capturing the southern sun. The legs of the wings are fully glazed to open up to the amazing long-distance views to the moors beyond. This arrangement of the plan defines how the building relates to the complex geometry of the site. The upper floor provides bedrooms which are orientated to face the long-distance views. The slim profile of the upper floor gable end facing the existing house ensures its presence and impact is minimised.

Rigid geometric forms, large windows, (maximizing daylight and views) and choice of materials all reference the local vernacular that, at the same time, create something unique and contemporary. The main volume of the building is clad in large course Yorkshire gritstone, with un-treated timber elements used for bays and cladding to provide a richness of texture as a contrast to the stone.