Fernhill is a private residential development on a dramatic, steep, south-facing slope in Grasscroft, within the Pennine foothills of Saddleworth in Lancashire. The development was both designed and funded by OMI and it challenged the bland conservatism of new development in this ruggedly beautiful part of the country. The high sales values generated by the finished development reinforced OMI’s fundamental believe in the value of good design.
Fernhill consists of 12 apartments and 6 houses, two of which were converted from an existing coach-house and stables building. The new buildings are dug into the hillside in a clustered arrangement, rising up to the main courtyard space formed by a grouping of houses and the apartment building.
The external expression is a contemporary reinterpretation of Saddleworth’s 18th century weaver’s cottage vernacular. A restrained pallet of robust materials reinforces the timelessness of the forms: rough-cut coursed sandstone walls, grit-stone window cills, coarse render and zinc panels.
Internally, the dwellings are unashamedly contemporary, providing bright sun-lit open plan living that opens out onto south-facing gardens, balconies or terraces with stunning views of the valley beyond.