A house designed by Delft-based architect Mecanoo is the latest addition to the ‘Lakes by Yoo’ development near Lechlade, Gloucestershire. The building appears to float on the surface of the lake, connected to the bank by a bridge, but in fact the 600-square-metre house is arranged over three storeys, with the lowest level – containing a cinema, spa and games room – set below the waterline.
The intention was to “create a house that combines transparency with sustainability, forging a strong relationship between the villa and the landscape”, says the architect. “The house is designed from inside out, creating uninterrupted views while providing shelter and intimacy.” Terraces at ‘ground’ and roof levels provide expansive views over land and water, as do corner windows in several rooms. The access bridge is cranked through existing trees to preserve the privacy they provide.
The house is extensively glazed but otherwise clad in charred timber. Internally, the transparent volume is subdivided by elements such as the fireplace. A full-height void containing a staircase brings daylight into the basement, creates intriguing sightlines and “sews all the rooms together into one interior space”, says the architect.