scott donald architecture was given a free hand to design this private home in a rural area in the english midlands, UK. the site is an acre of greenery filled with protected trees, making it the perfect setting for a new, dramatic, modernist-inspired house design with dark shapes. the design commission was without a specific brief, leaving the style and size of the project completely open and up to the architects.

winter house 2
images by daniel hopkinson



all floors in this statement home by scott donald architecture invite the tree-lined exterior in. the interior is carefully designed to open the house to the surrounding landscape. large, glazed sections, especially on the ground floor, connect the interior of the house to the outdoors and the landscaped garden, which is visible from every room. the common areas on the first floor have a unified expression defined by clean lines art and modern furniture.

winter house 3



the upper floor contains four bedrooms. the dark notes of the exterior are replaced with lighter notes indoors, and concrete, steel, glass, and dinesen wood have been put to good and meaningful use by scott donald’s team of architects. the elegant openings, occupy an otherwise fairly blank façade, which is minimalist and clad in dark render and black slate. ‘we chose dinesen heart oak as we wanted a material to contrast with the polished concrete floor throughout the house’s ground floor. finished in natural oil, the heart oak exudes warmth and character.’ – scott donald, architect and founder.

winter house 4



the architects were also keen for the bedrooms to have a feeling of tranquility and they believe the heartoak helps achieve this mood. they also chose this material for its natural appearance, the board’s fissures are preserved and stitched via butterfly joints – a visually satisfying detail that really adds to the authenticity of the material. the house is partially concealed in greenery, but its driveway and garage can be seen from the street, glancing out of the mature trees. the main entrance features a door covered in black powder-coated metal, however, the solid ground-bearing figure of the front elevation is in complete contrast to the design at the back.

winter house 5


winter house 6


winter house 7


winter house 8

winter house 11

winter house 12



project info:


name: winter house

architects: scott donald architecture

location: rolleston-on-dove, staffordshire, UK

photography: daniel hopkinson


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: yasmina karam | designboom