The Egyptian House (Sphinx Hill), Oxfordshire

















JOA were first approached by a senior QC and an Egyptologist to build a modern interpretation of an Egyptian House in 1994. After many attempts to find a suitable site on the Isis, they found a well situated riverside plot (with fine views across the river) containing an empty 1970's house of little architectural merit. Permission was obtained for its replacement in 1997, JOA's design receiving an enthusiastic response from the S.Oxfordshire Planning Committee. Construction started in spring 1998, with completion in Spring 1999.

The house is constructed in blockwork, with precast concrete 'beam & pot' floors. The roof is framed in timber and clad in copper sheet. For it, JOA developed a pallet of coloured render with a scraped finish, all incorporating black and white flecks to enliven the texture. Extensive use is also made of black, white and cream precast concrete elements. The windows are aluminium clad timber.

The accommodation comprises a hall, dining room, dining/kitchen, 2 studies, a small indoor pool and garage on the ground floor. On the first floor there is a generous drawing room (with pyramid fire), three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dressing room and a roof terrace.

Externally there are ample paved areas front and rear. A central watercourse runs down towards the river through four 'Sphinx Pools ' . A low wall and 'ha-ha' define the end of the garden while preserving the fine views across the river.



Architects: John Outram Associates

Structural Engineers: FJ Samuely

M&E Engineers: Max Fordham & Partners

Quantity Surveyors: Sawyer & Fisher

Main Contractor: Basil Wyatt & Sons, Oxford

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* JOA can be reached by E-Mail at , by telephone on +44 (0)207 262 4862 or by fax on +44 (0)207 706 3804. We also have an ISDN number : +44 (0)207 262 6294.




View from the river

View from the Nile

View from SouthwestWest oblique and forecourt

West facadeView from west

Pool fullStair