Watson House Annexe

Ström Architects, Boldre, 2017


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Richard Chivers     Download Original

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Replacement annex to a private house used as extra guest accommodation and party space with outdoor area.

Our client wanted to replace an existing and dated annex, and create a stylish yet relaxed party space to complement the main house. The wooded site is secluded and sits within the New Forest National Park, making it ecologically sensitive, but also restrictive in terms of area and design. Three simple elements make up the concept - brick base, timber envelope and Valchromat inserts.

To retain connection between the two buildings, the design of the annex reflects the simple rectilinear shape of the main house, whilst securing its own identity thanks to the more traditional pitched roof. The materials used - sweet chestnut cladding and dark Kolumba brick - are also a shared architectural language, to ensure continuity and flow.

The layout consists of two double bedrooms and bathroom, and a large social area with built-in bar/kitchen. Outside, the guests can enjoy relaxing and start-gazing from the deck, with its wooden hot tub and built-in seating with pizza oven.

As this space would mostly be used in the evening, we created a moodier, more intimate atmosphere, in contrast to the light and airy feeling of the main house. This was achieved through smaller and fewer windows, and carefully chosen internal materials. The reclaimed weathered pine boarding, Kolumba brick, blackened steel and grey Valchromat provide a tactile and rustic experience, as well as being durable enough to withstand frequent parties. Interior fittings such as the bar, bedside units and hanging rails were designed to read as part of the architecture, as if the project were one giant joinery item. This approach is evident in the quality, accuracy and level of craftsmanship in the detailing.

The annex is a mixture of rustic comfort, industrial hardiness and crisp architectural detailing, encouraging a sense of fun and playfulness.


  • Completed: Sep 2017
  • Floor area: 57m2
  • Sectors: Residential, House
  • Total cost: £243,700
  • Funding: Private
  • Procurement: Construction management
  • Address: -, Boldre, -, United Kingdom

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