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Downley House, UK

Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects

Downley House is composed of family and guest wings either side of a barrel shaped dining hall, the ‘Foudre’, which reflects the clients love of wine and is aligned on the entrance to the ruin of the former house. 

Shortlisted for the RIBA 2013 Manser Medal.

Copper elements provide a visual thread linking across the house exterior. An arcing copper canopy in the stone circular arrival court extends to an oak pergola which leads the eye to the copper clad Foudre. Copper copings and skirtings articulate the entire perimeter of the house.

The copper on the Foudre achieves contrasting impressions; generally of denseness and immutability, yet of delicacy when viewed head-on as a slender arch due to the thin copper roof construction. The spiralling seams and capped vents add sculptural detail to the roof encouraging the eye to move across it to further enhance the reading of the Foudre as a single entity.

The Foudre‘s timber shell is overlaid with a copper roof featuring two copper lanterns. Rainwater flows down the Foudre flanks into drainage channels feeding ‘Swansneck’ hoppers decanting onto the hoods at each end of the foudre.  Spiral seams then cast rainwater into the arched copper channel defining the Foudre end.  Skirts at the hood base discharge into gullies at ground level. 

Pre-oxidised copper was selected for its warm tone to complement the golden stonework, silvered oak-cladding, and reflect the natural surroundings including the nearby copper beeches. With immense creativity and craftsmanship Peters Roofing delivered the sculptural forms and complex details to the highest quality.

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Building

Owner: 
Private dwelling
Completion date: 
2012
Country: 
United Kingdom

Categories

Applications: 
Barrel roof
Roofs
Type of building: 
Residential
Copper used: 
Pre-oxidised
Estate: 
New

Architect

Name, office: 
Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
Address & description: 
Unit 11, Union Wharf 23 Wenlock Road London N1 7SB 0044 (0) 20 7253 8205 0044 (0) 20 7253 5285info@birdsportchmouthrussum.com

Awards

Season: 
2013

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