The Cannons, Furnace Wood, West Sussex
Preferred Partner Involvement
There are few locations in the southeast that can rival the fantastic setting offered by Furnace Pond in West Sussex. The proposal sought a contemporary replacement dwelling in the countryside within a private estate. Furnace Pond is one of three industrial ponds in the vicinity used by the iron industry in the sixteenth century. The remnants of Warren Furnace are still located to the north of the pond and listed as a scheduled monument.
The Cannons was designed to respect the landscape while enjoying its position on the eastern banks of the pond. The dwelling was completed on site in December 2020 following a previous permission for a new dwelling set further back into the site.
The Cannons has a vernacular building form with pitched roofs and gable ends, but it is in a contemporary envelope. The link between the separate traditionally formed building elements is the glass circulation area with its flat roof.
The tower at the northeast corner is positioned and designed to become the focal point of the dwelling. This is further highlighted by the light glass circulation area surrounding it.
There are also two prominent chimneys. One is positioned on the southeast gable end of the living room, and with its black stone cladding highlights this elevation. The other one as a feature is placed between the hall and the living area and acts as both separation and a focal point for the interior.
The design of the elevations is based on the concept of white rendered gable ends and white frame with timber and stone clad panels. The timber cladding is predominantly used at first floor level. The stone cladding acts as a tie between the ground and first floor elements. The building is opened up by large, glazed openings to south and southwest to allow sunlight in and to enable the enjoyment of the view.
The design optimizes the site constraints and is positioned to maximise the view and the sunlight. It takes into consideration the terrain, and the impact of the dwelling on the surrounding environment.
Permission was originally granted for the previous owner of the site. However, when the property was purchased, there was insufficient time to obtain permission for the new dwelling prior to the permission lapsing. To ensure the principle of the new dwelling would be maintained the original conditions were signed off and a material start made on site. A lawful Development Certificate was for an existing use was applied for an obtained to prove that development had commenced. In this case a building notice was served and trench dug on site along the line of the proposed dwelling in order to commence the development. Demolition of the existing buildings was unable to commence until a bat licence was obtained and watching brief during the demolition works. It is vitally important to ensure bat surveys are carried out in accordance with the correct season (April – August).