Sonning residence


Martin Burden. Ramboll

Martin Burden

Consulting Director, Buildings
T: +44 7903 682 572
A two-storey contemporary private residence on a 4.9 hectare plot next to the River Thames near Reading. Our structural engineers worked with the client’s architect to achieve a building that maximises natural light using full-height glazing, and features immaculate interior and exterior finishes. The grounds include a helipad, a golf green, an outdoor swimming pool, a tennis court and a fish pond.

The new concrete frame house and private entrance courtyard occupy a greenfield portion of a site on which the previous dwelling was demolished. The building's slabs include integrated underfloor heating, and the roof is flat. The 4m wide balcony and large first floor terrace utilise a cantilevered concrete slab constructed using the Cobiax void former system of plastic spheres, which enables long spans without the need for post-tensioning.

The new building's extensively glazed façade is supported on secondary steel cantilevers. The balance of the exterior is rendered in finish, with feature walls of flint — traditional in this location. A black granite pond with integral stepping stones leads visitors to the front door, making the effect of walking on water — and a cantilevered waterfall feeds the external swimming pool.

Inside the house, the cantilever structural theme continues with a steel staircase supported off one wall. It is clad in stone and timber and has a glass balustrade. Granite, marble and timber are used throughout the interior.

The golf green is interesting. It was relocated from the 18th hole of Wentworth’s west course when the course was remodelled in 2010.


240 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NW
United Kingdom
Tel:+44 20 7631 5291
Fax:+44 845 299 1610


Company registration

Company registration

Ramboll UK Limited. Registered in England & Wales. Company registration no. 03659970. Registered office: 240 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NW

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