To mark the launch of our Entertaining issue - out now - we are taking you on an interactive tour of three houses designed with hosting in mind. From the rectilinear Hurst House in the UK, with open-plan spaces opening onto bucolic views, to an ambitious private home on Singapore's Sentosa Island - dubbed 'Asia's favourite playground' - and a self-contained retreat on a remote Norwegian island, these houses have entertaining in their DNA.
Hurst House overlooks the beautiful Chilterns in the UK. Architect John Pardey has created an emphatically linear design for this private home, carving out living spaces on a grand scale. The open-plan kitchen, dining and living area dominates the first floor, which is lined by a balcony that runs the entire length of the building. This opens up the façade, making the views part of the entertainment, while ensuring the flow between volumes is maximised.
The architect's chief challenge was to create a unique, yet low impact design for this private home. The house's ground floor nestles into the slope at the front of the site, reducing the overall height by 1.4m, while the L-shaped footprint tucks the bedrooms towards the rear, forming a private, south facing courtyard and carport.
The linearity of the building sits in contrast to the rolling landscape around it. The glazed panels all move in one direction while the interior and exterior flooring follow the same orientation. The glazing retreats further at the south end to form an upper outdoor living area that echoes the ground floor in a predominant east-to-west axis.
Weston Underwood stone lines the ground floor (the quarry is a mere 40 miles away), while the timber is British grown Sweet Chestnut, and a contemporary touch is added by the zinc cladding. All three materials will weather beautifully without maintenance and echo the local architecture. A ground source heat pump and concealed photovoltaic panels provide power.
The working drawing package was sub-contracted to former Pardey employee Magnus Ström, who saw the build through to completion. The house peeks out from below the tree line, while the topography of the site shows off its contemporary features that nod discretely towards an all-mod-con 21st century living.