The design is composed of 'simple geometric forms nestling within the landscape'
Downley House incorporates a stone ruin in the South Downs, in a location designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK
London practice Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects won a competition to transform the plot into an 'unfolding sequence of spaces and views'
The house is approached via a circular forecourt surrounded by masonry walls, with the ruin - now a 'romantic verdant folly' - behind
Past the forecourt, the house is a confection of pure geometry: circles squares grids and ovals
The shape of the entrance hall was designed to resemble a wine cask
Lined with ribs of natural timber, it provides access to the upper floors via an inventive circular staircase
The tubular dining room was dubbed the 'foudre', or wine barrel, and glazed to visually connect the interior court with the south-facing terrace
Two cylindrical towers - one containing the circular staircase and one the entrance hall - flank the 'foudre' and continue upstairs
The mix of materials is sharply delineated, from the circular masonry walls to the oak doors and glass features
The kitchen emerges at one side of the 'foudre'
The master bedroom is separated from the guest wing of the house but glazed on two sides to connect it to the extensive grounds
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