The Downley House is one of those architectural creations that is both magical and provocative, an unconventional modern dream home. The sprawling estate lies within the South Downs National Park in Southern England and was designed by London-based architects Birds Portchmouth Russum.
With almost 7,000 square feet of weathered timber, stone, sandstone and copper, this family residence emerges from the verdant sloped hillside and is a knock-out with one prime aesthetic: curves.
The winding driveway is a precise foreshadowing of what lies ahead. The large circular courtyard greets, with the estate’s entrance comprised of ribbed wood in two distinct forms. Two silos embrace the focal point, an oversize, horizontally-set structure inspired by a wine barrel which internally becomes the home’s foyer and dining hall. Divided as two wings, the north-south floor plan provides ample living spaces for family and guests to enjoy interaction, as well as privacy.
The home dances with a textural playfulness both inside and out, beginning with the curvaceous dining area set within a series of ringed wooden beams. A retractable glass wall along the rear allows for natural light, ventilation and views of the interior gardens with ancient stone wall, a beautiful feature maintained from the original farmhouse ruins.
The living spaces are bathed in neutrals and accented with ruby red, while furnishings are contemporary yet comfortable. In this home though, it’s more the structural design than the interior contents that present curiosity and awe.
The glass-topped silos become functional, light-filled containers with one featuring the soaring entrance well, the other the decidedly modern glass staircase and mezzanine railing. This stairwell transitions from light wood at the base, reaching upwards to the transparent steps and eventually the pale blue gallery landing–quite an ethereal experience.
Sustainable woods, rooftop greenery, an underground heating pump and eco-insulation encompass the edgy design, making this a progressive dwelling of today.
Drawn from a historic structure, Downley House is a modern dream home which trades linear principles for curved elements, resulting in a fantastical country castle.(via)