Nash Baker Architects give modern twist to rural Suffolk house

Broad Street House is new build home in Suffolk by Nash Baker Architects that utilises a palette of natural and traditional materials to blend with the rural street scene.

The exterior uses locally-sourced oak cladding and handmade bricks laid in a variation of “Monks bond” using white iron-free sand for the lime mortar to blend with the architectural character of the village and create a more distinctive look.

“We wanted to ensure that the architectural expression would be contemporary and of its time whilst in its materiality being nevertheless reflective of local vernacular traditions.”

The clients’ brief was to replace the incongruous pre-existing 1980s building with an exceptional contemporary home sympathetic to the neighbouring properties.

They required an open-plan living arrangement would provide them with dedicated work rooms for their respective professional activities as silversmith and baker on the ground floor. The first floor could take advantage of the natural daylight and the expansive views across the marshes to Orford Ness and the coast beyond.

In contrast to the brickwork at the ground floor, the upper level appears lightweight, utilising ribbons of untreated oak cladding to wrap up and across a pitched roof. The oak cladding was sized to match the brick course dimensions, so that the two elements of construction have a complimentary design intent.

Internally, the house has a muted decorative scheme with exposed concrete ceilings complemented by a floor of whitewashed Douglas fir planks and fitted joinery made with lacquered birch faced plywood.

Studio and office rooms occupy the left side of the ground floor layout, mirrored on the right of the rear reception room by an open plan kitchen area defined by a parallel wooden dining surface in walnut with expressed dovetail joints.

The reception room opens out onto a red brick terrace and garden through a series of glazed sliding doors, mirrored on the upper storey where corresponding doors on the master bedroom and en-suite bathroom open out onto a covered terrace sheltered by the oak clad roof that gives spectacular views of the Orford Ness marshes and the Suffolk coast.

The careful specification of materials and technical detailing have created a dwelling sensitive to its historic setting yet unashamedly modern.