Netherwood House is located within the protected Greenbelt zone in Hertfordshire.
The building was in need to be complete transformation. From outside the house could only accommodate minor amendments due to highly restrictive local regulations within the Green Belt zone. In order to enlarge the house and yet remain within the prescribe volume allowed by the authorities, the house was redesigned in a way to convert the existing garage to a living space and add one room on the first floor in exchange for demolition of the old conservatory.
Site can be accessed from the street from one side and looks into an exquisite garden, a private tennis court and woodlands. In order to maximise the views and access to the exquisite nature around the house, all windows were enlarged (where allowed) and a number of openings were added to the existing volume.
“During our initial site visits, we noticed that the old house was very cold and dark during the day as there was no direct sunlight allowed in the house during the day time. The entire south facing façade was blocked by an enclosed entrance area and a large fire place in the lounge room. To tackle the issue, we created a double height space on the south side of the house, where we allocated the floating staircase. This space adjacent to the entrance and family room and connected to the open planned kitchen located on the garden side. This allowed abundance of direct sunlight to penetrate deep into the main spaces. With addition of an opening on the southern and western wall, direct light was pulled into the lounge room throughout the day.” says Mehran Gharleghi from studio INTEGRATE
In the new scheme the entrance area has been separated from the rest of house by a double-sided fireplace and a cabinet which is hung from the ceiling. The cabinet has been illuminated by a light sculpture, designed by Studio INTEGRATE, creating a welcoming entrance lounge. The Opposite side of the cabinet accommodates the built-in TV and audio unit as well as the display cabinet.
The open plan Kitchen has been located at the heart of the new lay-out providing a convenient access to the garden, living area, dining room and the guests lounge room. Three vertical pivoting panels on the edge of the dining room can connect or separate the living room and kitchen from the dining room, creating a flexible lay-out suitable for various occasions.
Other facilities of the house include a home cinema located on the South East side of the building and kids play room on the first floor as well as four bedrooms and three bathrooms located on the first floor.
Patio space at the back f the house has been designed to provide an outdoor seating space while not blocking the views to the garden from inside. Allocation of the external programme has been created in accordance to its immediate programme inside the house. A sunk in seating area has been created in front of the lounge room and the outdoor dining area has been located in front of the larger part of the patio in front of the dining area and next to outdoor kitchen.