Client: Private client
The project offered a unique opportunity to replace an existing undistinguished building complex with an outstanding contemporary country house designed by a world-leading architect.
Set within the heart of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty the project followed a very precise planning strategy to overcome significant objection and concerns raised by planning officers. This led to unanimous support at South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee and avoided a potentially time consuming and costly appeal.
American architect Richard Meier’s carefully considered design was developed in response to a thorough analysis of the site in partnership with award winning landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith. The result, Meier’s first building in the UK, is a development that is in harmony with its surroundings which, fittingly won a RIBA South Award in 2017.
Clean lines and fine detailing, and the subtle interplay between solids and voids, ensures Meier’s design is light and graceful and in balance with its landscape. Both Handsmooth House and its associated guesthouse embrace the principles of sustainable development. Overall a remarkable house.
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Terence O'Rourke is an award winning planning and design company, integrating these skills to help deliver exceptional projects.
Our team offers town planning, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and environmental planning (including environmental impact assessment, heritage and ecology) services. We have a unique skillset and approach that deals creatively with challenging planning situations to deliver commercially viable solutions across all sectors of the economy.
We work with nationally and internationally known clients including:
BAE Systems, BMW Rolls Royce, Grosvenor, McLaren and Warner Bros., major housebuilders and infrastructure providers and have worked on high profile projects and sites such as the Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa Tree Houses, the Clay Country eco-community, the Goodwood Estate, Luton Airport, Silverstone Park, Mercedes-Benz World, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and Studio Tour – 'The Making of Harry Potter.'