Gouray Lodge

Within the footprint of an old, rough-and-ready greenhouse, a replacement scheme provided the opportunity to breathe new life into the split-level site, with a traditional, functional gardener’s paradise on one side, and a modernist, luxe recreation pavilion on the other, forming a building with two faces.

The building is nestled into a hillside to take advantage of the existing topography, to firstly, disrupt its immediate surroundings as little as possible, and to secondly, create an experience of surprise, as one enters the pavilion by walking past the low-lying greenhouse, and going through a small, somewhat unassuming entrance; after which an immediate expansion of space is experienced, and the light, colour, and depth of field of view of the surrounding landscape and tennis court opens up through huge picture windows and vast floor to ceiling glazing.

This drama is not without design. Playing with juxtaposing qualities, the modest, diminutive scale of the green house side, with its dark glazing frames hovering above heavyweight granite walls, a traditional, monopitch roof and low eaves, is contrasted by the modernist, rectilinear and top-heavy quality of the pavilion, which is raised from the level of the tennis court, albeit connected with a grand set of steps that are flanked by edge-softening planters. The long vistas, over the bay are drunk in, by means of huge, near-invisible sliding gazed doors, which open to fully immerse the visitor into the action on the tennis court and beyond. This makes the experience of being inside the pavilion, very much like being within the landscape. This is also achieved by the continuous floor and ceiling lines from inside to out.