Jonathan Woolf and Ben Wright
Forest view by Doug Eckford
A mansion is a house whose floor area is between 750-6,000 m2 and may be either a single villa, an ensemble of buildings or an interconnected enclave.
To build a house upon bare ground is ideal. Judgements upon size, mass and situation taken in accord of propriety, topography, aspect and so on, lead to an approximation of the ideal container, the disposition of which may require the construction of a suitable approach.
Whilst a mansion has many different rooms for dwelling in, it will also contain several special rooms designed to accommodate the patron’s own particular interests.
In addition to activity and desired interrelationships, the seasonal usage of rooms determines their size and aspect and thus, an overall arrangement in turn. To inhabit the building is to experience its private relationship to the outside (though in any case a garden is desirable).
A result of simple and generous volumes optimally configured is smaller pockets and slack space. These allow adjustment towards the buildings final condition of repose, one that is not too strained, nor too slack. It is important to retain some of such consequential spaces for secret rooms that are not readily understood within the hierarchy of rooms and the overall whole.
Materials and construction are durable and lasting, as is required for a building that may live through several incarnations. Indeed to achieve this the structural and spatial composition will tolerate adaptation.
Its shape, material and overall ambience will feel new yet strangely familiar, having something of the communal and the dwelling about them.
A mansion should always be considered a house, but one whose exceptional scale and quality establish a legacy, since the patron is merely a custodian for future generations.