Glass House, Lechlade, United Kingdom
Programme: 600 m2 three-story house with one level below water with cinema, games/bar area, wellness/spa area, 80 m2 roof terrace and 176 m2 ground floor terrace.
Development: Boheme Development S.L.
Concept design: Mecanoo
Developed architectural design: Arquitectura y Ordenación Urbana S.L. AOU SL
Structural engineer: Fernando Sarria
Engineering: INARQ S.L.
Property Location: The Lakes by Yoo
Images: mariashot.photo and Blue Sky Images.
Officially founded in Delft in 1984, Mecanoo is made up of a multidisciplinary staff of creative professionals from 25 countries. The team is formed by architects, engineers, interior designers, urban planners, landscape architects, and architectural technicians.
The company is led by creative director/founding partner, Francine Houben, design and research director/partner Dick van Gameren, and technical director Friso van der Steen.
The company focuses on designs realized with technical expertise and a great focus to detail. They design a great variety of projects from single houses to skyscrapers, schools, theatres and libraries, museums, hotels and even a chapel.
Transparency Is Combined With Sustainability in the Green House
The architecture firm was asked to create a house that combines transparency with sustainability in order to build a strong relationship between the villa and the landscape. The key design determinant was the harmony between landscape and interior, architecture and nature, particularly regarding sight lines, materials, colours, and lighting. The house provides both shelter and intimacy, being designed from inside out and creating uninterrupted views to the surrounding nature. All these aspects work together to ensure the house’s sense of timelessness.
Green Oasis of Trees and Plants
The villa is situated in the Lakes by Yoo, near a green oasis of trees and plants that give the privacy aspect of the house. The stepping stones are alternated with the water plants along the waterline. The villa has an optimal view of the lake on the waterside. Disposed on two different levels, the terraces connect the villa to both the land and the water, anchoring the house in nature and giving it a welcoming presence. The residents feel like they live on the water due to the glass corner windows in the living room, kitchen and other rooms. A hilly finger of land with tall trees situated between the house and the adjacent plot ensures privacy. The row of trees remains intact by curving the bridge that connects the villa to the main road. Due to this aspect, the disturbing lights from the traffic are blocked and the sense of privacy is increased.
Intimate and Private Areas of the House
The fireplace and storage cupboards (the interior elements) create more intimate and private areas within the large transparent volume, dividing the house into different places. A full-height void which is situated in the heart of the house connects all levels and creates another series of diagonal and vertical sightlines. The staircase sews all the rooms together into one interior space. The central atrium brings abundant daylight into the sunken basement and connects the interior to the roof terrace. One can enjoy panoramic views as if floating quietly over the expanse of the lake from the roof terrace.