The mansard shape was carefully developed to appear low and unobtrusive from the front of the house. This allows the white facade of the original architecture to stand forth, while the dark mansards blend with the tree line behind. The mansards are more expressive when viewed from the rear garden, sitting on the colonnade as if on a podium. Dormer windows have chamfered surrounds to appear like picture frames and catch the light. The facetted geometry is inverted on the interior creating ‘tent-like’ bedrooms culminating in the rooflight at the peak.
Copper was chosen as the only material that could meet all the demands of the design. It has been folded around every angle of the complex, irregular geometry with crisp edges and junctions. Copper’s natural resistance to corrosion allowed direct fixing to the timber structure, without the need for an air space or vents. Most importantly, the dark brown and purple tones of pre-oxidised copper fit naturally with the mature gardens surrounding the house. Applied as small format rhomboid shingles, which subtly vary in colour and reflection, the copper has a beautiful patina that changes depending on the viewing angle, daylight and season. Our client has commented that the copper makes the mansards seem almost alive.