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