Wentworth Estate Dwelling, London.
Robin Hill is situated on a 7.5 acre plot on the Wentworth Estate on the edge of the famous Wentworth Golf Course. The previous owner was a tree collector, so the undulating plot was heavily wooded with specimen trees. The original building on this large plot was 7,500ft2. The site was in the green belt and green belt legislation would limit any future building to 10,000ft2under conventional planning calculations.
The original house was an imposing mock classical pile located on the top of the hill overlooking the site. It quickly became clear that the planners would not count any space below the original land line towards the 10,000ft2limit. To planning, any spaces below the original land profile were basement spaces, and basement spaces do not count. By shifting the house onto the slope and staggering the above-ground volume down, we were able to open up light wells, create courtyards and below-ground spaces that would not count but were still bathed in light with views of the landscaped gardens.
Through careful design, we were able to create a modern dwelling, with split levels, balconies and cantilevered elements, with more drama and less mass than the original house. The house had a more direct and engaged relationship with the landscape and the specimen trees around it, the floor area topped-out at 27,000ft2 and was a land-mark planning consent for the green belt.
The planning consent at Robin Hill was achieved in 2009 on behalf of Rafter Property Limited.