ARTIST
SPOTLIGHT

SIR EDWIN LUTYENS
WHY-WE-DO-THEM
A MASTER OF
MANORS

Today we wanted to explore the work of an architect whose work we draw great inspiration from. For Jesse and I, few names evoke as much admiration and reverence as that of architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. With his keen eye for proportions and attention to detail, Lutyens crafted homes that continue to inspire generations of designers over a century after their creation. Today, we delve into a few of our favourite homes designed by Lutyens that we believe exhibit timeless proportions and character, and explore why they remain a perennial source of inspiration for Jesse and I.

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

THERE WILL NEVER BE
GREAT ARCHITECTS OR
GREAT ARCHITECTURE
WITHOUT GREAT
PATRONS.

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

A MASTERFULLY
DIVERSE PORTFOLIO

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

Edwin Lutyens designed over 800 objects, ranging from large cathedrals to war memorials, to small country homes. Despite this, a lot of people only really know Lutyens as an Arts and Crafts architect. Its a design style that prioritizes natural building materials and hand craftsmanship. These are often asymmetrical, rambling cottages that are encompassed by steep roof pitches. However, Lutyens experimented with symmetry quite consistently in his works and a fairly small portion of his works alluded to this architectural design style. This is put into perspective in the depiction on the left created by Carl Laubin, who chose 150 of Lutyens works and drew them to scale within the same frame to offer fans of his work a sense of scale.

WHY-WE-DO-THEM
WHY-WE-DO-THEM

SKETCHING
BENEFITTING
PROPORTIONS

We find inspiration in the idea that Lutyen's work, now revered by fans across the globe, is rooted in the same architectural principles we practice as pillars of our creative process. Of course, back then, sketching was a necessity. This realization at first deepened our respect for his work immensely while also evoking a sense of pride in ours. However, this inspiration was far more simple and visceral when we first saw the Goddards, one of our favourite designs by Lutyens. Upon approach, we admired the authenticity of his work being so warmly traditional. The chimneys enamored our senses, offering strikingly unique proportions and were constructed using red brick, adding to the sense of traditional countryside charm. The gable proportions are paired with the rustic cladding and roof tiles. The gardens are lush and positioned to frame the architecture in a complimentary way. When you look at pretty much any feature on the exterior of this home we can find inspiration in it for being so authentically unique and understated at the same time. Everything flows beautifully.

THE
GODDARDS

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

However, as we thought about this more and more, we realized that what we really admired was the consideration he put towards the proportions, the authenticity of the materials he used, and the connection the home had to the surrounding landscape and the gardens. The dramatically tall chimneys, unique roofline, and rustic exterior facade were all just a function of the overall feeling we experienced when looking at this art piece, and would be insignificant on their own. This is the true definition of a home that is far more valuable than the sum of its parts. To achieve this Lutyens blended architectural styles incorporating both the arts and crafts and the Tudor design styles, all within the format of a traditional country home. The combination of these styles and their respective features create an eclectically timeless finished product that captures a visceral sense of traditional warmth upon approach.

Goddards, located in the picturesque countryside of Surrey. Built in the early 20th century, this charming country retreat captures the essence of English country living with its welcoming interiors, cozy fireplaces, and meticulously landscaped gardens.

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

“I ALWAYS PREFER THE
MOST NOBLE MATERIALS,
BUT I CAN NEVER GET
THEM.”

WHY-WE-DO-THEM
WHY-WE-DO-THEM

HARMONY
BETWEEN
FORM AND
FUNCTION

Lutyens had a unique ability to create harmony between the surrounding landscape and the home, working with the land to blend the structure among the natural features. His designs also transcend indoor and outdoor spaces, creating an indoor-outdoor connection that makes time spent in his homes highly enjoyable and serene. Lutyens seamlessly incorporated landscape design into his houses, creating a harmonious dialogue between architecture and nature that enhances the beauty of both. For many of his country houses, he called on the expertise of landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll.

The more you review his work, the more it becomes obvious that at the heart of Lutyens' architectural legacy lies a deep appreciation for classical proportions and symmetry. Whether designing a grand country estate or a humble cottage, Lutyens approached each project with meticulous attention to detail, striving to achieve a perfect harmony between form and function. His homes, characterized by balanced facades and carefully calculated dimensions, offer a sense of timeless elegance that transcends the trends of the day

MUNSTEAD
WOOD

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

All of Brancusi’s work, being rooted in the practice of direct carving, continues to be an inspiration to us to continue to take the hard road and sketch every home we design. Seeing each home as a sculpture that can only truly be seen by Jesse as his sketches are complete and using this exploratory approach to uncover the hidden beauty that lurks in his mind offered us a unique way of looking at what we do. While there is much more to cover about this inspiring artist that we haven’t even begun to dive into, we recommend what has quickly become one of my favourite biographies to read: The Essence of Things by Carmen Gimenez and Matthew Gale.

WHY-WE-DO-THEM
WHY-WE-DO-THEM

LES BOIS DES
MOUTIERS

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

Lutyens is seen experimenting with a mixture of the Art Nouveau and the arts and crafts style when he creates Les Bois Des Moutiers. This home is positioned within the rolling hills of Normandy close to the sea and was done once again in collaboration with Gertrude Jekyll. This sprawling estate features a rustic exterior, tall chimneys, a rather contemporary two storey window wall at the rear. It is set amongst a vast landscape and features a large park, and carefully designed gardens that beautiful frame Lutyens work. The proportions of the dormers and the dramatically sloped roofline are some of our favourite features.

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

CHINTHURST
HILL

Chinthurst Hill, in Surrey was another architecturally significant manor that we greatly admire. The history of Chinthurst Hill can be traced back several centuries. The estate was originally part of the Chinthurst Park estate, which was owned by the wealthy Evelyn family in the 19th century. The current mansion on the estate dates back to the late 19th or early 20th century and is built in the traditional English country house style with tudor influences. Medieval window detailing suggests that it was subject to modification in the Elizabethan era. The home is clad in Bargate stone, obtained by a local quarry. The home is built into the hill, creating a wonderful layering of different windows, entry and exit points, terraces, gable forms and roof heights. The continuous wall and roofline mixture is typical of the work of Lutyens. To reach the home, you have to drive down a long winding driveway, as the home is tucked away so carefully into the surrounding landscape. Surprisingly, this manor was a little known works of Lutyens.

LITTLE
THAKEHAM

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

Lutyens is seen experimenting with a mixture of the Art Nouveau and the arts and crafts style when he creates Les Bois Des Moutiers. This home is positioned within the rolling hills of Normandy close to the sea and was done once again in collaboration with Gertrude Jekyll. This sprawling estate features a rustic exterior, tall chimneys, a rather contemporary two storey window wall at the rear. It is set amongst a vast landscape and features a large park, and carefully designed gardens that beautiful frame Lutyens work. The proportions of the dormers and the dramatically sloped roofline are some of our favourite features.

WHY-WE-DO-THEM
WHY-WE-DO-THEM

THE MAN, THE
MYTH, THE
LEGEND

WHY-WE-DO-THEM

While architectural styles may come and go, the classical proportions employed by Lutyens have a universal appeal that remains as relevant today as it was a century ago. But perhaps the most inspiring aspect of Lutyens' design proportions is their ability to evoke a sense of warmth and distinguishedly rustic polish. These architectural gems, nestled amidst the serene landscapes of rural England and France, showcase Lutyens' skill in blending architecture with nature, creating spaces that exude warmth, comfort, and elegance.

In conclusion, Sir Edwin Lutyens' English country homes stand as shining examples of his architectural genius and his enduring legacy. We strongly recommend visiting any of these stunning countryside escapes as they serve as a reminder of the timeless beauty and appeal of Lutyens' designs, a fitting tribute to his lasting impact on the world of architecture.

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