House in Oxfordshire is covered in oak to create a “simplified volume”

Strips of untreated oak are used to clad every surface of this house in the English countryside by London office Peter Feeny Architects (+ slideshow).

Peter Feeny Architects was invited to design the house in Oxfordshire for a couple and their young child who wanted to swap life in London for a more rural existence.



The property replaces an existing house on a plot outside a village and is entirely clad in oak to reference the surrounding nature and agrarian architecture.

“Our clients wanted the building to be timber boarded to reflect an agricultural sentiment and oak was selected as one of the few local species that gave a reasonable lifespan as well as providing good weathering characteristics,” Peter Feeny told Dezeen.

The oak boards extend over the roof of the barn-like form, giving the house a homogenous appearance that is only disrupted by the windows, skylights and entrances.

“Cladding the roof in oak simplifies the overall volume of the building, giving the surfaces equal weight so the focus becomes more concentrated towards the relationship between the glazed perforations and the timber skin,” added Feeny.

“It also allows us to create a more ambiguous scale to the building as well as making a more gentle contribution to its landscape companions.”

An angled facade facing the driveway offers an alternative aspect of the pitched-roof volume and is broken only by the front door and a narrow horizontal window that wraps around one corner.

This predominantly closed surface provides a counterpoint to the other more open facades, which incorporate large windows with minimal frames.

A panel of vertical weathered steel louvers set into a wall made from horizontal oak boards offers partial views of the house from the driveway.

An opening in the wall leads to a path that winds through a wild flower meadow towards the front door of the house.

The interior spaces are designed to enhance the relationship with the gardens and the fields beyond through the careful positioning of windows and terraces.

An open-plan space containing the living room, kitchen and dining area is lined on three sides by glazing, with sliding doors providing access to an external deck and the adjacent garden.

A large window at the end of the landing on the first floor frames views of a tree and the fields, with doors in the glazed walls of the bedrooms on either side opening onto a terrace.

Oak is used for carpentry throughout the interior, including a spiral staircase that ascends from the landing to a bedroom with en suite bathroom on the top storey.

Skylights are arranged across the roof to direct natural light into rooms on the first and second floors. An angular opening aligned with the splayed gable end illuminates the entrance and the atrium housing the staircase.

A basement level partly submerged into the ground accommodates a piano room with vertical windows looking out onto a lawn.

Photography is by Rafael Dubreu and Ondrej Mundl.


Project credits:

Project Team
Architect: Peter Feeny Architects
Design team: Peter Feeny, Matthias Thum, Ondrej Mundl, Richard Hood, David Max Phillips, Jose Soto
Main contractor: Donovan Construction
Preliminary planning approval: Architecture 00
Landscape architects: Dan Pearson Studio, Hendy Curzon Gardens
Structural engineer: Momentum
Cost consultant: Cyril Smith Ltd
Audio visual consultant: Nick Marshall
Services engineer: Neptune Building Services
Lighting consultant: Lighttecnica, Paul Nulty Lighting Design
Wood consultant: TRADA
Photography: Rafael Dubreu, Ondrej Mundl.
Selected suppliers and subcontractors services: Neptune Building Services
Furniture: Viaduct
Joinery: DHJ Furniture
Timber floors and staircases: Arden Hodges
Glazing: Cantifix
Blinds: Levolux
Concrete tiles: Specialist Precast
Kalzip roof: Kovara
Natural swimming pool: Gartenart
Sanitary goods: The Showroom
Kitchen: Bulthaup
Metalwork: Bassett and Finlay
Shower drains: Wade
Outdoor furniture: Benchmark
Stone cladding: Albion Stone

Site plan – click for larger image
Basement floor plan – click for larger image
First floor plan – click for larger image
Second floor plan – click for larger image

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to create a “simplified volume”
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