Private Houses - Martin House, Poole

This 260 sq. m house occupies a superb, steeply sloping, wooded site overlooking a golf course.  There are views across the course from the site and we have taken advantage of these wherever possible in the siting of the spaces and the locations of windows and balconies.

The movement of the sun and the changing of the seasons can be perceived in all the main living areas. It was also intended that moving through the house would reveal different vistas of both house and garden and whilst the main rooms form part of a large open plan area, each space has a different identity and feel.

The house consists of two main blocks 2.5 metres apart, with the central section, which contains a Breakfast Room and the Stairwell, having a fully glazed roof and end walls. Each floor is one half level below the one above, and the main living rooms serve as half landings to the stair flights which form bridges across the central void. Entry is gained at the upper level via a car port and a covered porch. The accommodation is on four half levels, with the uppermost two levels containing guest bedrooms and most of the main living areas, and the two lower levels containing private rooms for the owners and access to the rear garden. The TV Room, whilst it is an extension of the volume of the main living area, is part cantilevered out over the garden.

The main walls are of in-situ reinforced concrete using  Beco Wallform. Underfloor heating and a whole house ducted ventilation system provide environmental control. Additional heating is provided by a wood-burning stove in the main lounge area. Other features include a central vacuum cleaning system and centrally controlled lighting and audio systems.

Mr. and Mrs. Martin took on the role of Main Contractor themselves.  

Winner, Best House Design of the Year, Self-Build Housing Industry Awards 1996.


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Text Box: John Lewis






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