A fresh start begins for the proud homeowner of Claywood House in Hampshire, England, which is designed to smoothly incorporate wheelchair accessibility requirements. The sleek inclusion of wide hallways, low windows and flush thresholds that allow the client to move freely through her home and exterior spaces helped earn House of the Year 2022, British Homes Awards’ winner status. Created by the talented architectural team at Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, this 5-bedroom house is also a cool contemporary, low-carbon home design with an airtight and insulated envelope. It includes a 12kw Photovoltaic array, a ground source heat pump, and a mechanical heat recovery ventilation system, all culminating in a highly sustainable new building.
Measuring 750 square metres, the modern house is located in an orchard that once belonged to the grounds of the client’s previous home. The original dwelling was a multi-level house that was unsuitable for conversion into a wheelchair accessible abode, and so was sold on.
The modern exterior is designed in contrast to the traditional architecture of the client’s former home, which represents the significant fresh start for her and her family.
The architecture was shaped in response to the sloping topography and natural boundary of the site, and to minimise impact upon the established landscape.
The composition of the house is structured to direct views away from the former home, looking out over the gardens instead. This arrangement creates a well-established entrance to the new property, as well as cosily sheltered living modules.
A colourful landscape design softens the sharp, linear nature of the contemporary architecture.
Smooth, gently sloping pathways ensure that a wheelchair user can make easy passage to and from the property.
A privately accessed guest annex projects to the south of the house.
When designing the exterior of the home, inspiration was drawn from the historic brickworks and clay pits that are located near the home. Pale, long-format bricks form a visually heavy base volume, which supports a contrasting timber-slatted upper.
The interior is an inclusive space that ensures continuous moments of connection for the whole family. The wooden dining table has space for a wheelchair user to pull up easily at the head of the table. The kitchen peninsula is low enough to see over from a seated position.
Floor-to-ceiling glazing and lower windows offer full and beautiful views out to the garden for both wheelchair-seated and standing family members. Wide walkways and hallways enable all members of the family to pass by one another with ease.
A sleek black kitchen design complements the black slatted timber cladding on the exterior of the home.
Modern artwork provides uplifting moments of colour throughout the home, which cheerfully contrast the crisp white, grey, and black backdrop.
The house includes a lift for full accessibility.
A simple, light timber staircase design rises past a black wood-slatted wall, creating fresh contrast.
A grand piano fills the open plan living space with music.
Sunlight cuts through gaps in the wood-slatted upper volume, creating wonderful light play in a corridor that leads to the bedrooms.
A geometric bedroom rug colours a large master bedroom, where bespoke wardrobes are built-in to flank each side of the bed. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the master bedroom in light and glorious green views.
An accessible bathroom design is fully encased with luxe travertine tiles.
Soft, atmospheric lighting lines the perimeter of the room.
The house also includes a physiotherapy pool, gym, and a carer’s suite.
Long slender windows and skylights dash sunbeams onto the water’s surface.
In the guest annex, another colourful rug brings cheerful vibes. The rug serves as a zoning device to establish a lounge area, where two comfortable grey armchairs rest. A rustic bed dominates the far end of the annex with a striking arched silhouette.
The opposite end of the annex is dedicated to a small dining area with a table for two. A unique bookcase modernly decorates the focal wall.
An accessible shower room is fully-fitted with chrome handrails.
A smaller bathroom follows a conventional design. Grey granite tiles complete a simple, minimalist aesthetic across the walls, floor, and bathtub.
In the games room, bespoke cabinetry and bookshelves line the walls in an L-shape to embrace a snooker table at the centre.
Facilities for specialist care are all conveniently included on-site.
Deep reveals and chamfered cutaways are designed to articulate the depth and solidity of the ground floor brick volume.
The base volume of the home contains the main living spaces, parking garage, and the therapeutic indoor swimming pool area.
A massive window brings a garden panorama to the guest annex in the cantilevered upper volume.
Reveal windows on the east and west facades, with timber slats marching between, are designed to replicate the rhythmic pattern of the surrounding trees.
Smooth transitions across flush thresholds allow the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces to be blissfully blurred, ensuring easy wheelchair access to the garden.
Outdoor lights spotlight the house, s sweeping driveway, and the landscaped gardens at night.
A large garage and ample storage areas keep wheelchairs tucked away but easily accessible.
The modern home rests gently in the natural environment.
The tree-lined location affords privacy to the homeowners despite the inclusion of large and low windows.
Attractive borders create a picturesque pathway around the home.