A British Architect’s Picturesque Prefab Seeks £1.2M

A British Architect’s Picturesque Prefab Seeks £1.2M

By Kathryn M.
David Tapp’s 1969 residence in Oxfordshire features a living room that appears to hover over the garden.

Just a short stroll from the center of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, England, architect David Tapp’s family home cuts a striking figure at the end of a private driveway. Designed and built in 1969, the Tapp House uses a prefabricated system the architect developed with Fredericks Timber—a method he then went on to use for several subsequent projects.

The Tapp House is nestled in Henley-on-Thames, a small town in the Oxfordshire countryside known for its medieval streets and historic architecture. The four-bedroom property was built in 1969 by architect David Tapp to serve as his family residence. Pictured is the backside of the home, which showcases the raised living room that appears to be floating above a garden.

Meticulously maintained throughout the years, the dwelling features original timber-clad ceilings and walls as well as quarry-tiled floors lining the central hallway of the ground level. There is also a decorative, abstract mural on one side of the front door. 

A decorative mural near the main entrance contrasts with the timber-clad ceilings. Original quarry-tiled floors lead into the kitchen, sited on the other side of the entry corridor.

Yet, one of the most notable aspects of the home is the dramatic raised living room awaiting on the back facade. Resting gently on timber girders, the striking addition not only creates what appears to be a floating living space, but also a covered outdoor area underneath.

A peek into the kitchen, where a perfectly placed picture window frames views of the garden. Floor-to-ceiling glazed doors in the adjacent dining area provide direct access to the backyard.

The kitchen was recently updated with custom cabinetry and open shelving. New stainless-steel appliances were also integrated as part of the renovation. 

To take advantage of the lush garden area surrounding the home, Tapp designed the interior spaces to blur the lines between inside and out. Large swathes of glazing can be found on both levels in addition to skylights and picture windows. For example, the expansive living room features floor-to-ceiling glass which frames captivating views of the fruit trees in the garden below and the Hambledon Valley beyond. 

In the dining area located off the kitchen, a calming shade of green complements the timber-clad ceiling and exposed-brick walls. Black-and-white tiles line the floor.

In total, the homes offers four bedrooms, all of which are perched on the second level and can be accessed via a striking spiral staircase. The principal suite features a spacious walk-in closet and connected bath. The other three bedrooms can be found down the hall along with a shared family bathroom. Keep scrolling to see inside more of the residence, currently listed for £1,195,000.

The ground level also includes a flexible space that can serve as a reading nook or an additional dining area. Original deep-red linoleum flooring pops against the white walls. 

Lit by a round skylight above, the spiral staircase is composed of slotted plywood.

Expansive glazing alongside the raised living room bathes the space with light throughout the day, all while framing lovely views of the surrounding garden and nearby countryside.

Timber-clad walls continue into the four bedrooms located on the second floor.

The principal bedroom features an en suite bath and walk-in closet.

A closer look at the terrace beneath the raised living room. Toward the back of the garden is a separate annex building, which could be used as a workshop or a detached home office.

The Tapp House located in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire is currently listed for £1,195,000 (approximately $1,606,800) by The Modern House.

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