Contemporary new build

Buckinghamshire | Clive Baldwin Building Design

The brief

This contemporary new build comprises two wings, with accommodation for both people and classic cars on different levels, all set in beautifully landscaped grounds. The result is a compact, unusual and visually stunning property.

Galower Build was appointed during the design phase which gave us an opportunity to establish buildability early on in the process.

Key features of this intriguing property are the large expanse of glass and specialist brickwork, used to great effect both internally and externally. Classic cars are housed in the basement, and accessed by lift from the house. The outside of the property is just as fascinating. Surrounded by a moat on two sides, the grounds are a inviting mix of soft and hard landscaping, complete with pool, glass bridge and elegant driveway.

Large scale luxurious, yet minimalist build

In many respects, this is a minimalist build - albeit on a luxurious scale. Glass is integral to the design, providing natural light and fabulous views of the grounds. Used structurally, the large glass panels are fixed to the steel frame of the house and, in some areas, linked to the glass flooring. Lowering these glass 'curtain walls' into the steel frames, required great accuracy and dexterity.

We were able to put our bricklaying and carpentry skills to good use in this project. The handmade bricks, used internally and externally, were cut to different lengths and laid randomly. Our objective was to break up the uniformity while achieving a sleek effect. Wood features a lot throughout the property - flooring, storage, staircases, and external panelling. However, the absence of skirting at floor level and architrave round the doors, means attention is drawn to our perfect plaster finish. Externally, the look is similarly pared down. Instead of guttering, rainwater is collected through box gutters located behind the parapet walls, while air holes replace the traditional 'pots' on the chimneys.

Finally, we fitted a lighting system throughout the house allowing the owners control using various switches, devices and custom keypads.

Skilled project management of the supply chain

As is often the case, the project called for skilled management of the supply chain. From procurement through scheduling to ultimate delivery and installation, we supervised a range of specialist contractors. In addition to the 'usual' contractors like the kitchen suppliers and garden landscapers, we also managed Italian lift engineers, large-scale glass fitters, and Dutch hand-made brick manufacturers.

Maximising a range of Galower Build skills

We relished the opportunity to use a range of our skills on this unusual project, from structural build and fine workmanship to comprehensive project management.