OMA Ascot Residence 2003
Although being impressed by the striking setting of Ascot (UK) with its full-grown scenery, the existing configuration on the site doesn’t exploit its the potential beauty. In order to fully take advantage of this potential, a set of transformations are proposed.
In the midst of areas of dense growth we propose opening new views to make it possible to fully appreciate the size and shape of the site. In doing this, we turn the hill at the center of the site into an Acropolis, overseeing the property.
On the hill a compilation of sport accommodations is positioned, which result into a sports Acropolis. In other to further accentuate the edge a sunken linear volume is added, making both a stage and the difference in height more explicit. The volume opens toward the valley; it accommodates the summerhouse, swimming pool, bar, parking and party facilities. As a result the lower garden has a much clearer definition, which benefits the setting of the main house. A stretched flat lawn opens new views and introduces convenience. The cultivated garden establishes control and culture in the rough natural setting.
The hill is too small to accommodate the full program of the house. Several studies showed that putting the house on top of this Acropolis would eliminate its effect and would fail to exploit the potential of the lower garden.
A further study of the main house resulted in two radical options: a vertical and a horizontal house, both based on the same configuration. Traditionally country house is sprawling and horizontal, which results in spaces that all have the same close relationship with the ground, the view and the landscape. By turning our initial proposal 90 degrees we discovered a vast new potential in which each space could have its own personal relationship with the landscape. What used to be a conventional patio becomes centrally located multi-level living space which gives the inhabitants an unprecedented special experience and at the same time fits the very specific demands of the program.