One of the outstanding houses of the 1930s, Bentley Wood has been an inspiration to generations of architects for the clarity of its design and the sensitive way in which it sits in the dramatic downland landscape.
We carried out a careful and sensitive refurbishment over several years with the result that the house was listed Grade 2 in early 2020.
Designed by Serge Chermayeff in 1936 as his family's weekend home, and completed in 1938 after a public enquiry, Bentley Wood has been added to over the years since the Second World War with varying success.
Our work sought to make the later additions more clearly legible by the simple coding of vertical cladding versus the original horizontal cedar boards. Over several years we also renovated the entrance colonnade and garage wing, as well as removing a post-war lobby and revealing the original entrance door. Holding repairs were carried out to the main jarrah columns on the south side, as well as extensive repair to and recovering of the roof.
Externally, riven York stone was removed from the terrace and replaced with slabs in the original grid pattern, and the sculpture plinth and steps to the garden replaced in the location intended by Chermayeff. On the entrance side the sweeping wall around the parking area was returned to its original form, and a holding repair to the paved surface made in removable blocks where the original concrete had been damaged beyond repair.
The house retains a certain grandeur, but flows beautifully inside and out. It has more in common with modernist houses built fifteen or twenty years later, and works well both as a relaxed family house, or when entertaining large numbers.
It is our hope that some of the more dramatic changes planned for the repositioning of outbuildings and swimming pool will be carried-out in later phases of work to further enhance the setting and outlook of this unique house.