Alterations and additions to a hideously extended, but originally very pretty farmhouse in St Catherine’s valley for Xa Sturgis and Anna Benn who were the most fantastic clients. The extension used in part materials from the demolished barns, and the cladding was designed to conceal the proportions of the existing extension while pull apart on the new bit to reveal key views into landscape. It is a very modest, very vernaculary thing really, and surprising that it generated a great of interest. I was rather embarrassed doing this for Xa at the same time as Eric Parry was doing the Holburne for him, with a budget something like 20 times the cost per m2.
At the time, I was rather obsessed by the rawness in Sandy Wilson’s Scroope Terrace extension in Cambridge in which I was working – I love all the concrete benches and so on in that building. Starfall has a very simple asymmetric section that allows the morning light to penetrate deep into the building and flood it with light. For me, the project was also a way of reconciling all the thermal deficiencies of Moonshine, which is far too lightweight – Starfall is ruthlessly thermally massive, and with it incredibly efficient. As ever, Kris Eley helped me reconcile all that, Tinyue Liu drew it beautifully and Structures 1 engineered it effortlessly. Thanks again to Peter Clegg for recommending me for the project.
Architecture Today article by Rob Gregory here: Nov-50-HOUSES-MitchTaylor
Inside Out here: IO9612p112-119_hmstarfall
Architects’ Journal: 69_Small_Projects