Mecanoo’s glass villa bridges land and water

Large expanses of glazing, cantilevered terraces and an underwater cinema connect this house to its lake-side setting in Gloucestershire, England.

One floor of this three-storey villa set on the edge of a lake in Lechlade is submerged below the waterline, concealing a cinema, games room and spa from sight.

Conversely, Mecanoo gave the two upper levels floor-to-ceiling glazing that continues around corners to allow residents to enjoy seamless views out over the water. 

Wooden decks projecting towards the water and the land, and a terrace on the roof provide even more connection with the setting. A bridge connects the house – aptly named Villa on the Lake – to land.

Planting nestled in around the sides of the house provide a screen from the outside world. 

“The harmony between landscape and interior, architecture and nature, was a key design determinant, particularly regarding sight lines, materials, colours, and lighting,” say the architects. 

“The house is designed from inside out, creating uninterrupted views to the surrounding nature while providing shelter and intimacy.”

Glass Villa on the lake by Mecanoo
Glass Villa on the lake by Mecanoo

Wood and glass continue inside the property, with the dark floorboards providing a cosy counterpart to all the glass. 

Corner glazing is picked up in a fireplace enclosed in glass. This element separates two adjoining living spaces, while still offering a visual connection between them. 

Villa on the Lake
Lechlade, UK
Boheme Development
Developed architectural design:
Arquitectura y Ordenación Urbana
Structural engineer:
Fernando Sarria
600 sqm
Completion :

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