Text by Janto Wihardja & Anggita Saraswati, Photography by Mel Yates.
Aiming to provide a bespoke and holistic approach to high quality residential design both in the UK and internationally, architect Gregory Phillips of Gregory Phillips Architects is committed to providing elegant tailored design solutions for each project from the architecture, the furniture, as well as the landscape design. From contemporary interiors to new-build architecture, renovation, and landscape design, Gregory Phillips Architects specialises in award-winning residential projects that are refined and of the highest quality. Its newest project, a two-story modern country house set within 12 acres of elevated grounds on the banks of the River Thames in Berkshire, demonstrates just that. In building a contemporary house that is both luxurious and comfortable, Gregory used materials such as timber, leather, and stone to create rooms of character. Referring to the house as a “physical, experiential journey”, Gregory further mentions that it also incorporated a balance between contemporary and traditional style, with tradition being mainly used to inspire the plan-forming by referencing historic courtyard layouts. The result is a beautiful, sleek, and luxurious family home that provides a sanctuary for the owners.
An interview with Gregory Phillips.
Describe the biggest challenge with the stunning Berkshire project?
On a large scale of issue the challenge was to create a large modern building that sat well in the landscape. We aimed to create an aesthetically quiet and elegant contemporary house.
In your opinion, what is the most interesting thing about the interior of the house?
We also aimed to create a contemporary house that is both luxurious and comfortable. We used materials such as timber, leather and stone in a contemporary way to create rooms of character.
What is the essential of natural lights in this house or generally in your design?
Wherever possible we maximise the natural light in the house and also design the house to maximise sunshine in the interiors without suffering from solar gain. I believe lighting should mainly create an effect not dominate, so we use artificial lighting to wash walls with light to create an atmosphere and highlight the architecture.
How different is this house from your previous projects?
All my projects are a development of ideas. Creating the inside/outside space is a common theme. There is a physical journey for each house. With this house, you enter into the courtyard where the view of the landscape is hidden from view. The courtyard is surrounded by walls of flint which reference the material of the local church. You then enter via an opening onto dark stone slabs that sit within the reflecting pool, you almost walk on water to enter the house. Then you enter a double height entrance hall where the view of the landscape is revealed. So it is a physical, experiential journey.
What would be your advice to make a living room look more impressive?
I start with the functional requirements, then think about space and light, materials and furniture – it has to be a holistic process.
Tell me about the design kitchen integrated with the dining area.
The kitchen/dining/family room is wonderful! It has three elevations and is truly a room that is integrated in the landscape. The doors can be opened giving level access to the external terrace and access to the garden.
Which part of the house is your favourite one?
I would say that my favourite part is actually that dining/family room described in my previous answer.
In terms of function, what is the difference between the 1st level and the 2nd level?
The bedrooms are on the upper level, living spaces on the lower level.
Will the owner be able to witness the sunset or sunrise?
Of course, there are fluid relationships between indoors and outdoors that are maintained via banks of glass and vast sliding doors that open out onto the garden.
Is there anything else I need to mention about this beautiful house?
This house was inspired by a traditional country house, however it appears modern and sleek. It incorporates a balance between a traditional and a contemporary style. Tradition was used to inspire the plan forming, referencing historic courtyard layouts. Traditional materials were also used including flint similarly to which was used in the adjacent historic local church as the external walling material. In all other respects it is a totally contemporary house.
Describe this house in three words.
Contemporary, luxurious, family home.
Is there a philosophy behind your designs?
Gregory Phillips Architects aims to design beautiful projects. We look holistically at what our clients need for their lifestyle. From contemporary interiors to new-build architecture, renovation and landscape design, our firm specialises in award-winning residential projects that are refined, considered and of the highest quality. Our process is simple. We help clients form a vision of how they’d like to live. Then we make it happen. I look to find practical and poetic solutions, the aim being to produce beautiful projects. So, it is not a style, I use materials of quality put together with an attention to detail with a refined and straightforward intention. The ideas involved are of great importance as I look for clarity and integrity and thoughtfulness as well as beauty. I look holistically at what my clients need for their lifestyle. From contemporary interiors to new-build architecture, renovation and landscape design, my firm specialises in award-winning residential projects that are refined, considered and of the highest quality.
Land area: This modern country house is set within 12 acres of elevated grounds on the banks of the River Thames in Berkshire.
Building: 665m2 (a two story house)
Total bedrooms: 6
Total bathrooms: 6
Powder room: 3
Location: Berkshire (by the banks of The River Thames)
Architecture: Gregory Phillips Architects
Interior: Gregory Phillips Architects