Bri­tish coun­try style may con­jure up im­ages of choco­late box cot­tages – but it can also be cool, eco-aware and cut­ting edge, like this Modernist home

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Colour - Words JACKIE DALY Pho­tog­ra­phy DIRK LINDNER

An un­usual com­bi­na­tion of ex­ist­ing farm build­ings and new Modernist en­clo­sures, Wood Farm in Suf­folk is sit­u­ated in an Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty that stretches as far as the eye can see. It is the coun­try home of Richard Hy­wel Evans, founder of Lon­don ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tice Stu­dio RHE, and his wife, the artist Rachel Shaw Ash­ton. It took two decades to com­plete the house, which is not only rig­or­ously con­tem­po­rary but sus­tain­able and sym­pa­thetic to its sur­round­ings. As such, the new glass-walled barns that have been added to the orig­i­nal agri­cul­tural build­ings are raised above the flood­plain and built us­ing lo­cal ma­te­ri­als. The prop­erty faces south to make the most of the un­in­ter­rupted views, while shield­ing the open court­yards on ei­ther side of the build­ing from the strong pre­vail­ing winds that whip across the land­scape. Con­se­quently, the space adapts ef­fort­lessly to in­door/out­door liv­ing.

In­side, a se­ries of new oak-clad rooms con­nect to an old gal­vanised zinc barn, which pro­vides fur­ther ac­com­mo­da­tion. The ter­races are fur­nished as beau­ti­fully as the in­te­rior, with com­fort­able, cu­rated pieces: the Rodolfo Dor­doni ‘Boma’ so­fas in­vite guests to re­cline and en­joy the views, while Jasper Mor­ri­son ‘Park Life’ chairs await sum­mer soirees in the din­ing ar­eas. The fur­ni­ture is by Span­ish com­pany Ket­tal and is de­signed for out­door use.

The ma­te­ri­als used in the con­struc­tion of the house strengthen its con­nec­tion to the nat­u­ral sur­round­ings: re­claimed hand­made Suf­folk bricks and ter­ra­cotta tiles, gal­vanised steel, flint and green oak are fused with mod­ern lam­i­nated tim­ber and steel, over­sized frame­less glass and black zinc – the strik­ing porce­lain cladding is a fit­tingly lux­u­ri­ous fin­ish­ing touch. This, surely, is the epit­ome of con­tem­po­rary coun­try liv­ing. stu­; ket­

This house fea­tures in our ELLE Dec­o­ra­tion Coun­try book – the place to find the world’s most beau­ti­ful homes in the coun­try. For more in­spi­ra­tion and to buy it now, go to elledec­o­ra­­try

Kitchen The open-plan kitchen is framed by oak ceil­ing beams, high­lighted by ‘Aim’ pen­dant light­ing by Ro­nan and Er­wan Bouroul­lec for Flos. The han­dle­less kitchen cab­i­netry is by Bulthaup Stock­ist de­tails on p284 ➤

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