Based in the Cotswolds, with countrywide commissions from the Scottish Highlands down to Cornwall, Yiangou has established itself as the go-to practice for distinctive country houses that respond instinctively to the landscape around them. Yiangou designs range from immaculate contemporary structures to major Neo-Classical mansions and new buildings that intuitively respond to the prevailing local tradition. The level of commitment to detail and to craftsmanship has won the firm many client recommendations and awards.
Britishness lies at the heart of every Yiangou project, even though many clients are international or are returning to Britain from a life abroad and wish to have elements of that life embedded in the design of their home.
One English family asked for a contemporary Japanese pool pavilion to be introduced into a very correct Neo-Classical home to reflect their admiration for Japan. A client from the Far East, who had been educated in Britain, returned to restore a 18th-century country house and ended up incorporating some Indian design influences. ‘Some clients have an intellectual understanding of what makes a British house that can exceed the reality of the home grown one,’ says director, Ross Sharpe. ‘A client from the wilds of Yukon engaged in hours of discussion with us about the perfect pitch of roof for his new Sussex house inspired by the mid-18th century. We have lots of esoteric conversations like that.’
Every Yiangou house is unique, with subtle design nuances that reflect the special quality of its setting and the client’s personal preferences.
At the start of each project, the directors rigorously seek to understand how the owners intend to live in their house, working closely to evolve a plan form and a suitable architectural language for it. This is then consistently reviewed and updated down to the very last detail. Great emphasis is always placed on ensuring that the artisan craftsmanship and building skills are capable of creating buildings worthy
of being considered as ‘future heritage’.
‘There is no question that the allure of the perfect British house with its exquisite perfection in design and setting is compelling for the international client,’ says Ross. ‘Many of our clients do understand to a heart-warming degree the subtleties inherent in that mix, so the fine British tradition of building is now a very exciting and addictive process for the sympathetic architect. Our founding partner has himself come from Greek heritage, so there seems to be a lovely symmetry there.’
A recently finished new house in the Cotswolds perfectly represents Yiangou’s thinking and skill set. This is a bold inventive house utterly at home in its setting because of the organic planning and Yiangou’s instinctive understanding and knowledge of the massing and architectural detail of local Jacobean houses and the Arts and Crafts traditions that were so important to the region three centuries later. The building could be mistaken for a 400-year-old Cotswold house but look more closely and all the quintessential Cotswold features have been subtly re-worked.
This is a very British and very Yiangou setting indeed.
YIANGOU ARCHITECTS DYER HOUSE, 3 DYER STREET, CIRENCESTER GL7 2PP +44 (0)1285 888150