Mecanoo has completed a fully transparent villa within a green oasis of trees and plants on the waterfront of a lake in Lechlade in the United Kingdom. The guiding design principle was to create a house that combines transparency with sustainability, forging a strong relationship between the villa and the landscape. The harmony between landscape and interior, architecture and nature, was a key design determinant, particularly regarding sight lines, materials, colors, and lighting. The house is designed from inside out, creating uninterrupted views to the surrounding nature while providing shelter and intimacy. All these aspects work together to ensure the house’s sense of timelessness.
The Mecanoo-designed villa is situated in a green oasis of trees and plants that hide the house from view. Water plants along the water line alternate with stepping stones that lead to other parts of the garden. On the water side, the villa has an optimal view over the lake. Terraces on two different levels connect the villa to both the land and the water, anchoring the house in nature and giving it a welcoming presence. Glass corner windows in the living room, kitchen and other rooms, make the residents feel like they live on the water. Between the house and the adjacent plot, a hilly finger of land with tall trees ensures privacy.
By curving the bridge that connects the villa to the main road, the row of trees remains intact. This further increases the sense of privacy and blocks disturbing lights from the traffic. Interior elements such as the fireplace and storage cupboards, divide the house into different places, creating more intimate and private areas within the large transparent volume. In the heart of the house, a full-height void connects all levels and creates another series of diagonal and vertical sight lines. The staircase sews all the rooms together into one interior space. The central atrium brings abundant daylight into the sunken basement and connects the interior to the roof terrace. From the roof terrace, one can enjoy panoramic views as if floating quietly over the expanse of the lake.