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4 Views by AR Design Studio built around a Zen garden

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AR Design Studio just sent us their latest project, 4 Views, a private house situated in a prominent location overlooking the city of Winchester, United Kingdom and its beautiful surrounding countryside. This striking upside-down build contrasts with its conventional neighbors, displaying a flat over hanging roof, dark grey brick, cedar cladding and grey aluminum framed windows. In 2011 the architects were approached by a couple wishing to build a new house. They wanted a life experience to immerse themselves in, having recently lost a daughter; a project that would give them a positive focus and a fresh start for them and their family.

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Taking responsibility for their brief very seriously, research into building a house that could help them move forward, heal and bring them happiness began. Through extensive research we found a wealth of information on the connection between good architecture and its positive effects on restoring health. We were given a ‘free hand’ with its design, around a wish for a garden within. The conceptual drive behind this house was the principle of the 3 N’s: Nature, Natural light and Natural air. The form of the replacement house is defined by four interlocking boxes, the negative space at their center forms a ‘Zen’ garden, with a single olive tree at its heart.

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This simple layout became the foundation on which the principles of the 3N’s could be built, allowing them to be incorporated into all aspects of the design. A connection to nature has long been believed as good for one’s body and soul. This house connects with nature through three stunning, far reaching views of the South Downs. The long views inspiring the couple to look forward to the future, the courtyard giving space for inward private and reflective times. Subsequently, the house has become known as 4 Views.

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The extensive glazing to walls, roof lights and open central garden allow natural light to flood the upper floor, giving a generous feeling of space. The skylights create an enchanting backdrop to the interior, the spaces constantly alive with light and shadow from passing clouds, providing a stimulating continual connection to the elements.

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Large sliding panels of glass to the primary elevation and courtyard ensure natural ventilation and also a free flow of natural fresh air.

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MORE INSPIRATION

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The courtyard, large balcony and huge covered patio are all designed to offer healthy outdoor living options regardless of weather.

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The bedrooms and snug are intentionally darker, giving a cozier retreat downstairs. Views from here frame the garden, contrasting the extended views from the first floor and in turn emphasizing the ground floor as a private retreat for the family.

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Photos: Martin Gardner

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

1 Comment on "4 Views by AR Design Studio built around a Zen garden"

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Thomas H Wood
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I wish there were more photos of the upstairs and less of the kitchen with this house. It’s a beautiful house that doesn’t look like it’s placed in Winchester.