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The English country house goes mod in this handsome timber home

Construction took just 11 months

Light in the kitchen of the Woodpecker house by the U.K.’s Ström Architects.
Photos by Luke Hayes via Designboom

When one hears “English country house” they’re likely thinking more Downton Abbey than Villa Savoye. And that’s okay: We have a deep and abiding love of the ol’ historic, landmarked U.K. manor.

This gorgeous timber-frame home in southeast England, however, expands our notions of the pastoral home in the English countryside, offering a refreshingly contemporary counterpoint to the worn narrative.

Designed by Hampshire, U.K.-based Ström Architects, the two-level home—dubbed Woodpeckers—clocks in at just shy of 2,100 square feet and took just 11 months to build. It replaces a circa-1930s home previously on the site.

How did the firm get it built so quickly? For one, the geometric house sits on a concrete-slab foundation, and has a simple wooden framework, which helped move things along. And Designboom notes, too, that the house is “filled and over-clad with insulation,” which helps seal in warm air in the winter and keep it cool in summer. Clearly, expediency didn’t mean sacrificing energy efficiency.

Behind the vertical slats of timber siding lie open-plan interiors that lead fluidly between indoors and out—great in warm weather. Masonry floors and a mix of wood (cabinetry), marble (countertops), and concrete (as for some built-in seating) help keep things feeling modern. Take a look around.