Stepping Stones Lead to This Daylit Dwelling in the Middle of a Pond

By Kathryn M. / Published by Dwell

Two steel structures expand a family's existing living area while embracing the calming effects of surrounding nature.

London–based architects Hamish & Lyons replaced a set of unconnected and flood-prone outbuildings with airy and minimal steel-framed living spaces to create the Stepping Stone House. It took three years of repeated requests to receive planning approval, due to the existing home's listed status and location within a conservation area, green belt, and flood zone—but the finished product was well worth the wait.

Connected to the main home by a structural glass bridge, the new buildings provide additional living space and guest accommodations. Photo by James Brittain Photography

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Hamish & Lyons combined a new landscape design with playful details like a diving platform located along the deck. As the name alludes, stepping stones cross the pond abutting the main residence.

Stilts elevate the new spaces, keeping them clear of flood waters while also making it possible to swim underneath the buildings.

Photo by James Brittain Photography

Minimalist steel stilts give the impression that the buildings are levitating above the water. Hamish & Lyons reduced construction time and site waste by prefabricating much of the additions off-site.

One building serves as the family's main living space, while the other holds a guest house. A bridge links the two volumes together.

Photo by James Brittain Photography

The interiors feature larch glulam beams accented by Douglas fir plywood paneling.

Photo by James Brittain Photography

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The landscape design unites the family with their surroundings.

Photo by James Brittain Photography

The 4.9-foot overhanging eaves shelter the walkway and shade the interiors in the summer.

Photo by James Brittain Photography

A central "Y" post forms a focal point in each space and supports central roof skylights that extend the entire length of each building.

Photo by James Brittain Photography

A brick facade on one of the structures relates the new buildings to the existing home, and creates the impression of a monolithic form floating effortlessly above the water.

Photo by James Brittain Photography

A winding path connects the front parking area to the rear of the structures before leading to stepping stones that playfully connect with the guesthouse.

Photo by Will Scott

Related Reading: This Swedish Estate Has a Gorgeous, Minimalist Tiny House

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Hamish & Lyons / @hamish.herford

Builder/General Contractor: R J Clyde Builders LTD

Structural Engineer: Momentum

Landscape Design: Hamish & Lyons

Lighting Design: Hamish & Lyons

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