Traditional French architecture can be characterised by key design details a sweeping Mansard roof, handcrafted limestone mouldings or a wrought iron balustrade. But the French vernacular is just as much about scale and proportion, as it is about attention to detail.
Architect Michael Munckton of Rosenthal Munckton & Shields says these spatial elements were a priority for the design of this house.
"Providing an easy, intuitive flow through the house and a good indoor-outdoor connection was essential," he says. "And although the owners wanted the house to have a French feel, rather than an English country house look, we never set out to design a faithful reproduction. The house is a modern interpretation of a traditional French house a design that works with the local climate, the site, and the lifestyle of the owners."
Munckton says the gently sloping site has two road frontages, which meant the garaging could be positioned at the rear, preserving the look of the front elevation.
"The house occupies the bulk of the site beside the boundaries, effectively wrapping around three sides of a large, landscaped courtyard," he says. "This has a colonnaded veranda, which helps give it a Continental look."
The French influence is also evident in the material palette, which includes a traditional Mansard slate roof, and brick cladding. Small 50mm bricks were chosen to complement the extensive use of locally sourced limestone. This appears on decorative exterior mouldings around doors and windows, and beneath the roof line. It also forms the front portico.