Country Life Every Week - - Contents - Yian­gou Ar­chi­tects (www.yian­; 01285 888150)

Grand to el­e­gant, en­trance halls that make a last­ing im­pres­sion

Cirences­ter-based ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tice Yian­gou has a rep­u­ta­tion for de­sign­ing new coun­try houses that fit beau­ti­fully into their set­tings. One is church en­stone Hall, a 12,000sq ft new-build house sit­u­ated on the edge of a cotswold vil­lage.

Ja­cobean at heart, it in­cludes in­flu­ences from a num­ber of pe­ri­ods and styles, in­clud­ing arts-and-crafts.

the con­cept for this room was to cre­ate a medieval-style ban­quet­ing hall that func­tions as an en­ter­tain­ing space for din­ners as well as large gath­er­ings over the christ­mas sea­son. ross sharpe, one of Yian­gou’s di­rec­tors, was re­spon­si­ble for fine-tun­ing the pe­riod de­tail­ing in the room. ‘For in­spi­ra­tion, i looked to other cotswolds manor houses in the area, in­clud­ing stan­way,’ he ex­plains.

the full-height fire­place acts as the cen­tral focus. de­signed by Mr sharpe and carved from clip­sham stone—an oolitic lime­stone from Lin­colnshire that’s reg­u­larly used to re-face Ox­ford col­leges—it boasts in­tri­cate carv­ings as well as ex­ist­ing ear­ly17th-cen­tury dec­o­ra­tive de­tails.

‘in or­der to cre­ate a new house in a his­toric de­sign, it’s par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to focus on the small­est de­tails, such as glass in the win­dow panes that’s slightly rip­pled to repli­cate the ef­fect of im­per­fectly pro­duced old glass,’ he ex­plains.

although the wall pan­elling is a faith­ful re­pro­duc­tion of a 17th-cen­tury de­sign, it was de­cided to paint it white to keep the room light and to cre­ate a crisp con­trast with the var­nished-oak stair­case and gallery. On the floors, bus­cot lime­stone is laid in a ran­dom pat­tern to en­hance the pe­riod feel.

‘de­spite all the in­tri­cate his­toric de­tail­ing, it’s still a 21st-cen­tury house, ex­e­cuted to meet the de­mands of a mod­ern fam­ily in its de­sign and lay­out,’ ex­plains Mr sharpe. ‘it’s pretty close to my per­fect space.’ Ara­bella Youens

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