LCE were commissioned to design a Georgian mansion overlooking a lake on 170 acres site in the heart of Mid-Sussex in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), known as the Greentree Estate.
The full planning application included the repair and rebuilding of existing stable buildings, the refurbishment and conversion of historic agricultural buildings into offices, the demolition of the remains of Greentree Hall and the demolition of ‘Greentree Farm cottage’, a very unremarkable dwelling in a very poor state of repair, to be replaced by a new Centre piece Country House.
The Greentree Hall Estate includes around 79 acres of agricultural pasture, 85 acres of woodland (part of the Cowdray and Brantridge Forest) and 6 acres comprising derelict residential and agricultural buildings, tracks, landscaping around existing buildings and a lake. Before the fire in 2001 which destroyed many of the buildings on the Estate there existed a Grade II listed 5-bedroom, 4 reception room centrepiece to the Estate believed to be originally17th Century (de-listed subsequent to the fire).
The basic arrangement of spaces, massing and orientation of the house are almost entirely prescribed by the existing landscape setting and topography. The approach is from the east down an existing tree-lined drive terminating formally in a circular gravel hard standing, for visitor parking, immediately in front of the main entrance. Private car parking is accessed by a secondary vehicular route leading to the north elevation of the house with parking at a lower level, hidden from view. The house is on two floors with a double height hallway at its centre leading to all the principal rooms with views to the west overlooking the lake and the estate beyond. The plan is essentially symmetrical with a guest suite at one end and a south facing orangery at the other.