Creative Thinking Yields a Lakefront 'Living Room'

This slick lakeside construction from the Cotswolds, England, at first appears to have little in common with all the 1860 stone barn place 200 feet behind it. However, the contemporary space really has the same basic structure, specifications and materials as the renovated barn and main property.

A waterfront extension of this historic residence, it evolved as a different living space due to planning restrictions on the beautiful property. Architect Andy Ramus built the small space over the water to completely benefit from this view.

at a Glance
Location: Lower Mill Estate region of Cirencester, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Size: 81 square meters (871 square feet)

AR Design Studio Ltd

The lakehouse came to existence due to a planning constraint from the Lower Mill Estate community. The customer desired a living room with a large window overlooking the lake in the main home, but the rules of the property’s planning committee did not allow a large glazed area from the walls of this historic barn and main property. As a compromise, Ramus made this independent “living room” with open views throughout the lake.

AR Design Studio Ltd

The customer wanted the new structure to seem as though it floats on the water. The glass-encased living space offers 180-degree viewpoints of the water, wildlife and nature.

AR Design Studio Ltd

Ramus desired to keep the landscaping just as natural and undisturbed as possible. This boardwalk winds its way to the main property. The path “generates a travel through the landscape,” he says. The lakehouse itself has an extremely minimum quantity of contact with the landscape, almost floating over the ground.

AR Design Studio Ltd

The new living space is set up quite simply. Ramus put the kitchen and toilet at the back, by the main entry. The entry hall sits in between both of these functional spaces.

AR Design Studio Ltd

The small entry hall immediately opens into a single open living room that looks out on the lake through sliding glass doors. A balcony surrounds the entire home so the customer can revel in the pristine setting.

AR Design Studio Ltd

The construction utilizes the same materials as the main home, such as light fixtures and plug sockets. But, Ramus translated them in a more contemporary method. “I suppose this means the material palette picked,” he says.

AR Design Studio Ltd

Throughout construction, there have been very few buildings nearby, which makes for a very private site. However, increase on the estate now suggests that homes surround the house, hence the sole private views are those which face the lake. Luckily, natural plant also helps to maintain privacy.

AR Design Studio Ltd

“The contemporary design of the boathouse stays in excellent harmony across the lake, and also its use of glass reciprocates the feelings of the water,” says Ramus.

AR Design Studio Ltd

To make a solid structure within the water, Ramus had profound piles driven into the lake bed. The steel framework was built on property and then lifted into place on the water. “It was a nerve-racking day to find out whether it still fitted,” admits Ramus.

AR Design Studio Ltd

Set off to the side, a glass cube surrounds Adirondack chairs as an ultramodern variant of a gazebo. The gazebo provides entirely open views of the surrounding landscape and protection from the weather. The all-glass structure does not have any visible fittings or fixtures; it is held together with industrial glue.

AR Design Studio Ltd

The comparison between the historic principal house and the new lakehouse is very striking from this overhead view.

“We wanted to make a beautiful juxtaposition from the old to the new,” says Ramus. “The barn is indeed powerful in its traditional style that we did not want to attempt to detract from its beauty by replicating it in a neighboring building.”

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Wallace Upholstered Headboard – $1,095

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