A Double Height Glass Display Case in the British Countryside | Home Design Find

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A Double Height Glass Display Case in the British Countryside


Níall McLaughlin Architects designed this double-height glass box for the firm’s former Quantity Surveyor in Piper’s End, a farming hamlet in the Green Belt Zone around London.


The main building is envisioned as a glass display cabinet, or “vitrine”.


This was because from working all around the world, the client and his family had brought back many loved objets they wished to display.


Though the bed is hidden, the windows of the transparent master bedroom on the second floor can be seen through around the bold two-story fireplace element.

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An enclosed building behind the glass building supplies the stairs to get to this second floor in the glass building, as well as master bedroom closets and bathroom.


This wood clad building behind the glass building matches in size and shape, contrasting only in material, and the juxtaposition references the regional vernacular.


In the farming community setting, buildings for different purposes and built of different materials, are similarly placed next to each other in series.

“We enjoyed the matter of fact arrangement of farm buildings in the area,” say the architects. “Buildings, glasshouses and sheds, are juxtaposed in an ordered way relating to the demands of particular processes, stacked loosely like books on a shelf.”

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You enter through the enclosed “wooden cabinet” as the architects describe this building in back, going through a modest doorway into the stair hall.


Here, the high “shed” roof references a third type of local farm building, an open barn.


In the British farming countryside, water is seen more as a livestock necessity than a swimming pool.


This water feature also acts as a barrier to horses and ponies who drink from it, while preventing them from coming further into the human area.

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