Nithurst Farm - EH Smith

Nithurst Farm

Situated in a secluded valley within the South Downs National Park, Nithurst Farm, designed by architect Adam Richards as his family home, is far removed from the farmworker’s cottage that previously occupied this space.

The juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary leave you with feelings of uniqueness, yet oddly recognisable, invoking images of reworked historic ruins and grand Roman villas.

Built from structural concrete and wrapped in a thick brick skin with a black zinc roof. The building appears initially as a simple structure but upon closer inspection reveals more complex geometry. Traditional bricks laid with unusually wide, flush lime-mortar joints play with impressions of scale. There is also a sense of motion created by the profile of the house which steps up, rising from a single-storey entrance on the north elevation to a three-storey tower, echoing the slope of the hill behind. Further enhancing the illusion of movement are the darker bricks around one edge of the large arched windows, set within deep reveals, which achieve both contrast whilst subtlety expressing the fluidity of the pattern. Richards compares them to “cartoon motion blur”, a suggestion that the house is moving in the landscape, its levels and openings shifting.

Shortlisted for RIBA House of the Year 2019 and receiving RIBA South East Award 2019, RIBA South East Building of the Year Award 2019 and RIBA National Award 2019, this truly is a remarkable building.

Architect: Adam Richards Architects

Contractors: Garsden Pepper

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