A dramatic landscape or rural setting can come with fierce planning restrictions but it can also inspire radical architectural solutions. 

grand designs countryside house - 4 inspiring countryside self-build homes - self build homes - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Reverdrage.no

Countryside homes make a statement, while embracing the landscape, whether that's reflecting it or incorporating it into the construction materials. The best examples endeavour to touch the ground as lightly as possible, with owners using prefabs, generating their own energy or even going completely off grid. These 4 self-build homes innovate in their rural settings to achieve spectacular results.

Traditional Cottage Rejuvenated

modern cottage build in countryside - 4 inspiring countryside self-build homes - self build homes - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Paul Cashin Architects

The 200-year-old Island Cottage in West Sussex had suffered unfortunate extensions and remodellings before being bought by a couple relocating from London. They asked Paul Cashin Architects to perform a partial restoration and create a new identity for the house that would connect it visually to nearby Pagham Harbour nature reserve.

Stripping away previous additions, reorganising the interior, reinstating the library and adding a guest room, the architects worked closely with the clients, who directed the build. Local materials such as flint and timber were reintroduced and reclaimed materials used where possible for the interior.

Invisible Lochside House

inviisble house grand designs - 4 inspiring countryside self-build homes - self build homes - granddesignsmagazine.com 

Image: Rural Design

Invited to replace a derelict stone bothy on the Isle of Skye, architect Rural Design realised that the building had become a key reference point in the landscape and advised the client to instead restore it and build a completely new house on a seperate site with dramatic panaromic views over Loch Dunvegan. 

Hoping to leave the area as unaltered as possible, the architect sought to hide the building while the clients were keen to incorporate some form of reflectivity. To achieve both goals, the 160 square metre houe is clad in 300x600-millimetre-marine-grade polished stainless steel shingles, which act like an invisibility cloak by reflecting the surrounding landscape.

Sensitive Woodland Site

grand design seld build country - 4 inspiring countryside self-build homes - self build homes - granddesignsmagazine.com 

Image: Paul Cashin Architects 

This 250 square metre home in the South Downs National Park in Hampshire had a hard battle with the planners, eventually winning on appeal. It replaces a collection of run-down buildings including what was once a herdsman's cottage, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Lead architect Design Engine used brick cladding to reference the previous structures on the site and used cantilevers and cutaways to help break up the rectangular form. 

This is further interrupted by the step up from one to two storeys at one end. The interior is a combination of open-plan and split-level. The central living space features glazed walls on either side and a variety of window sizes are positioned to make the most of the setting.

Incomplete Hunting Lodge

grand designs countryside house - 4 inspiring countryside self-build homes - self build homes - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Reverdrage.no

A limited budget can sometimes inspire the most striking design solutions. Architecture practice Rever & Drage created the 1/2 Hus in Norway for a couple who had limited funds and wanted a design that was romantic, cosy and practical, with space to store hunting equipment and the potential for future expansion.

Living spaces are arranged over two floors but only take up a third of the 192 square metre structure. The roof extends out over the rest of the site, supported by a wooden shell that frames dramatic views of the landscape and provides the basic structure for future additions. 

 

Which is your favourite countryside self-build? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page

 

RELATED ARTICLES

5 inspiring garden office builds for working from home

Garden walls and fences: what you need to know

How to manage your self-build during the coronavirus crisis

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
house-of-2030-winners
Self Build Homes

Home of 2030: winning build concepts for housing of the future revealed

A self build concept is among two winners of this government-backed competition. Take a look at these future forward building ideas.
design-a-bespoke-staircase
Self Build Homes

Meer End can design your dream bespoke staircase

Bespoke joinery and staircases can really lift a home. We look at how you can add a classic or contemporary staircase to your grand design.
help-to-build-scheme
Self Build Homes

Help to Build: Government announces new scheme for custom and self builders

With the government's announcement of a Help to Build scheme, discover the details you need to know.
south-africa-narrow-house-frankie-pappas
Self Build Homes

Inside a narrow woodland home, built without demolishing a single tree

With a brief to preserve every tree in this dense woodland site, architect Frankie Pappas created a linear, narrow home that is threaded through this...
baufritz-prefabricated-self-build-homes
Self Build Homes

Discover why a prefabricated house might be perfect for you

German-engineered prefabricated homes are a byword for quality and sustainability. Discover the secrets of the methods in making these fabulous modern houses.
jackon-insulated-concrete-formwork
Self Build Homes

Why Insulated Concrete Formwork self-builds are the low energy homes of the future

Insulated Concrete Formwork Systems have arrived in the UK – a construction method that makes new builds quick to assemble and with stunning insulation properties....