Knocking down an old house on our estate and building anew sounds straightforward enough – until you start to look at the designs. We had five or six architects design us a house. We just wanted something modern, practical, something a little different. Five architects later we still hadn’t found anything remotely interesting. Then we were introduced to Baufritz through a friend.
We had one meeting with the Baufritz architect. He had the brief from my husband Andrew, who is passionate about the designs of Le Corbusier the Swiss-French architect, one of the pioneers of modern architecture. This would require something angular, something that was not altogether normal. It had to blend in with the English countryside and it had to have a bit of flint on it. He went away and came back with an amazing design that we immediately liked.
From his initial design to what was built, there were only tweaks. Baufritz absolutely nailed it straight away. The design of the house is unique, a combination of locally prevalent traditional materials and sustainable modern construction methods. The use of flint and small windows within the walls provides a contrast to the timber cladding and glazing of the central gable and entrance.
I went to the Baufritz design centre to choose all the fixtures and fittings. I had forgotten how many choices you have to make, from skirting boards, door handles, right down to the taps. It was all very efficient and well done. All the fixtures and fittings were of fantastic quality. I looked around the factory which was incredible, and the quality of the materials again was staggering – it was actually really good fun. The completed house is so functional and our friends who live there are having a wonderful time, they just love the house. With five bedrooms and open plan living, the house is so easy and comfortable. Floor to ceiling glass accentuates the wonderful rural surroundings.
I think that sustainability is a big selling point these days. The household bills have gone down enormously. The house is very efficient, it’s effectively sealed so you’re not losing heat, the heat is circulated. There is underfloor heating and a heat pump as well, it’s simply just more efficient. From our experience of Baufritz, I think I’m making the point that they can do something really interesting architecturally, with their modular form of construction. I think it would surprise a lot of people that they can do something that is really pushing the boundaries.