Claywood House



Main contractor

Graham Amphlett Ltd

Sub contractor

Queens Park Brickwork Ltd


Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt


Linear Bricks

Pro Clad Brick Cladding

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Organised over two storeys, Claywood House is a new contemporary, 5-bedroom home in Hampshire that has been created to meet the needs of a wheelchair dependent client. Designed by architecture studio, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, the 750sqm, low-carbon home focuses on accessibility and functionality without compromising on visual excellence.

Graham Amphlett Ltd worked closely with the client to finalise Claywood House within the grounds of their previous home. Their former 4-storey house was impractical for the client’s needs and unsuitable for conversion, so starting afresh with a brand-new build became an ideal solution for the family.

Completed using linear facing bricks supplied by Taylor Maxwell and installed by Queens Park Brickwork, the house includes innovative green power sources and specialist facilities such as a swimming pool and therapy room. There is also a separate annex located at the site's entrance, which could be used by a carer in the future.

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Following the decision to split their two-acre grounds in half, the clients requested their new home be designed in complete contrast to their existing residence. To juxtapose the original red brick gothic home complete with turrets, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt proposed a stunning modern home with floor to ceiling windows, timber cladding and striking linear brickwork.

The design itself honours the beautiful and complex geometry of the landscape as its shape works with the slope of the site, to reduce the visual impact to the surrounding area. Furthermore, the timber cladding, that envelops the second level structure, was installed in a rhythmic pattern to mimic the vertical trunks of the trees in the bordering woodland. Taking inspiration from the neighbouring brickwork and clay mines, the ground-level ‘plinth’ is formed from a contemporary, pale coloured, long-format brick.

To help the architects understand the level of detail required, the client lent Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt a wheelchair during the early stages of development. From this research, the architects carefully incorporated a number of accessible features such as extra-wide corridors, lift access and flush thresholds. To complete the build, floor-to-ceiling windows were installed to allow panoramic views of the garden, whether standing or seated.

It's been a really useful experience for us and we're far more conscious of inclusive design than we used to be across all our work, irrespective of typology. It's now very much at the forefront of our work and informs early design decisions.

Dominic Gaunt
Director at Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt

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Beyond its outstanding design, Claywood House also excels in its sustainability efforts. Using a fabric first approach, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt worked to ensure the building’s design, material choice and structural components were applied for maximum low-energy performance, before utilising additional energy saving products.

In consultation with Mesh Energy, the team then established further measures to ensure the home would continue to benefit both the family and the environment once the project was complete. These methods include a ground source heat pump to heat both the house and the pool, mechanical ventilation and heat recovery, underfloor heating throughout the home and solar photovoltaic tiles on the roof.

As the design features beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows and an expanse of sliding doors across the lower rear elevation, it was important to ensure any energy saving impact was not lost to these elements. In response, IQ Glass installed triple glazing, solar controlled glass, frameless effect roof glazing and heated glass across the build.

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Project Completion

Claywood House has already received significant recognition for its design. The building received the British Home Awards ‘House of the Year 2022 (over 2,500sq ft)’ prize and was shortlisted for a RIBA 2022 Regional Award.

In partnership with Taylor Maxwell, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt looked to specify a pale earth-tone linear brick to harmonise with the green landscape and woodland surroundings. Combined with a light mortar, this creates the appearance of contemporary brickwork with subtle nuances, that accentuates the horizontal aspects of the project.

Used internally, externally and on prefabricated soffits , the long format bricks create a sense of fluidity and luxury within the home, whilst adding to the bright internal colour scheme. Finished with specially placed windows, the space receives vast amounts of natural light to increase the perceived size of the area and to highlight the clever, delicate design details scattered throughout.

Special recognition should also go to the exceptional client who inspired all involved, altering how they’d approach projects in the future.

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01 /06

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