The Field House is situated on the northern edge of the hamlet of Icomb, within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Icomb is two miles south-east of Stow on the Wold.
Icomb, a quintessential Cotswold village, is situated on the western slopes of the Evenlode Valley (Vale of Moreton) as it rises to the high wold of the Rissington Plateau.
The site is set in a rural, agricultural landscape, within a patchwork of small to medium sized fields that occupy the valley slopes. There is a network of generally well maintained hedges, and small, scattered, geometric blocks of woodland surround the site.
Local Development History
This is our first project with Loyn + Co Architects and it has been a really enjoyable and creative process. Our proposals seek to unite the existing house with the surrounding landscape, through the removal of the current suburban planting and the restoration of the rural character of the site.
Two major habitats, the woodland and the meadow, will provide the setting for the centrally located house, allowing it to interact with the whole site and with the extensive views beyond. A new wildlife pond, located at the lowest point of the site, will be an ecological hub and a focal point when viewed from the house. These differing habitats will result in numerous ecological benefits, improving not only the immediate setting but also filtering out to enhance the wider surroundings.
The site’s ecological value will be dramatically improved by the creation of eight separate habitat types that will cover almost 90% of the ground.
Visible domestic garden spaces are kept to a minimum, and close to the building. The naturalistic garden planting will be seen as an extension of the meadow and woodland planting schemes, providing a seamless connection between them, making the house part of the landscape. Climbing plants and green and brown roofs will further reinforce this.
The woodland planting, which relates to the many small, geometric woodland blocks in the area, provides the entrance sequence allowing visitors glimpses along rides to views beyond as they approach the house. Also to the south will be an orchard, once numerous in Icomb.
One of the defining characteristics of the local landscape on this farmed valley slope is the patchwork of small fields with well-maintained hedges. This will be echoed on site through the replanting or laying of the poor existing hedges.
The meadow will be kept clear of any kind of ‘parkland’ tree planting to maintain the rural visual character of field and hedge. The meadow will sweep right up to the house, connecting with the naturalistic perennial garden planting and then with the climbing plants, and further the green and brown roofs, to provide a green route over the building.
Para 79 applications are one of our favourite projects in the studio. The design process is collaborative, creative and rigorous with no stone left unturned.
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