Every journey has a beginning and back in 2014 our clients had recently purchased a large site in the heart of Branksome Park in Poole and were looking for an architect to design them a large contemporary home for them and their growing family. EMPERY+CO were invited to attend an interview for the project and to present a proposed concept for the property. Our design concept delivered the vision that our clients were seeking and we were promptly appointed.
Our client’s objectives were very clear: To create an open plan, light-filled, comfortable and contemporary family home. The brief was drawn up and it needed to address a growing family’s needs and practical requirements, as well as a love of entertaining, a passion for fitness and enthusiasm for contemporary design.
Our client wanted to create a private home which provided a ‘sanctuary’ for the family but also embraced the natural setting of the site. The initial concept created a simple solid stone structure that provided an enclosure for all the principal spaces but opened up towards the garden to create the principal focus for the entire house. This concept in form and material remained as a guiding principle of the design but was moderated to allow for a more inviting facade.
The flow of a house fundamental. The sequence of spaces in this house was carefully orchestrated to meet the client’s requirements but importantly were created to embrace the light and the views that the site afforded. The entrance hall is a wonderful double height space that invites you through to an expansive family room. You step down into the family room which reveals a vista across the space to a large picture window framing a glimmering stone wall sitting above the calm pool waters. The kitchen is located centrally in this family room that seamlessly connects to the external terrace area, providing a large entertaining area. Standing in the center of the space at the floating concrete kitchen island one can survey all the primary spaces: lounge, garden enhance hall and the swimming pool.
The principle that the home should be a ‘sanctuary’ for the family informed the choice of the principal building material for this house. Stone is the oldest and hardest of building materials and naturally gives protection. The challenge was sourcing the perfect stone that met the specific criteria of the project. After significant research, we eventually sourced Valser Quartzite, a stunning crystal embedded light grey stone quarried from below the Swiss Alps. Vals Quartzite is over 250 million years old and is a very hard and compact stone ideal for both internal and external use. Critically it is also ideal for use in pools due to its unique geological characteristics. This beautiful and distinctive stone was challenging to source but has enriched the project with its spectacular qualities.
The journey of construction is always a voyage of discovery as the house slowly reveals itself. The end result is a comfortable modern family home that has exceed client expectations. From our perspective, we are very pleased that the flow of the house feels very natural and intuitive. The house invites you through the space using light, materials, vistas, and glimpses of the space beyond. Building your own home is a large undertaking that is both an exciting and challenging process. However, it is a very rewarding experience which can provide you with a home that will enrich the way you live your life.
‘We enlisted the services of Empery and Co to design our new home. Being our first project of this size and nature we found Toby and the team to be extremely professional and willing to offer assistance and guidance during all stages of the process. The end result was a stunning, state of the art home that we feel struck exactly the right balance between architectural design and commercial reality’.