Alterations and additions to a hideously extended, but originally very pretty farmhouse in St Catherine’s valley for Xa Sturgis and Anna Benn who were the most fantastic clients. The extension used in part materials from the demolished barns, and the cladding was designed to conceal the proportions of the existing extension while pull apart on the new bit to reveal key views into landscape. It is a very modest, very vernaculary thing really, and surprising that it generated a great of interest. We were rather embarrassed doing this for Xa at the same time as Eric Parry was doing the Holburne for him, with a budget something like 20 times the cost per m2.
At the time, we were rather obsessed by the rawness in Sandy Wilson’s Scroope Terrace extension in Cambridge where Piers Taylor was teaching – we love all the concrete benches and so on in that building. Starfall has a very simple asymmetric section that allows the morning light to penetrate deep into the building and flood it with light. For us, the project was also a way of reconciling all the thermal deficiencies of Moonshine, which is far too lightweight – Starfall is ruthlessly thermally massive, and with it incredibly efficient.
Architecture Today article by Rob Gregory here: Nov-50-HOUSES-MitchTaylor
Inside Out here: IO9612p112-119_hmstarfall
Grand Designs HERE
Architects’ Journal: 69_Small_Projects
Interior photography by Damian Russell