design, create and deliver considered, responsive & contextual architecture; buildings, places & communities for all.

Following a successful ‘pre-app’ planning application that supported the principal of development, we have developed the design of a three-bedroom family home and have recently been granted detailed planning approval through officer delegated powers. The site sits within and around a walled garden in the grounds of a large country house built in 1912. The house and grounds are not Listed or within a Conservation Area, however the site is considered by the Local Authority as being within the grounds of a non-designated heritage asset, having significance in the local context deriving from architectural (aesthetic) and illustrative and associated historical values.

The layout of the proposed dwelling has been strongly driven by the concept of association with the historic garden wall. The existing brick walls surrounding the garden originally supported a large greenhouse along the north-west side (facing south-east) and this is where the majority of the footprint to the new house is to be located. The garden walls are dilapidated and are to be rebuilt reusing the existing brickwork and will form internal and external walls to the new dwelling. The house has been positioned to avoid tree root protection areas and overshadowing from the surrounding trees. A break between the existing wall and new perpendicular single storey structure signifies the entrance to the building. The ground floor circulation is formed around two sides of the existing wall, providing access to the adjacent utility spaces and leading to the open plan kitchen, living and dining area. All internal spaces have a strong relationship with the garden, with views through the building into the landscaped garden. The living room and the home working space have projecting corner bay windows. The ground floor single storey element wraps around and sits below the garden wall whilst the two-storey gabled element sits in the north corner. The single storey roof will be planted with sedum. Externally the ground floor walls will be clad in charred timber and at first floor and roof in a dark zinc.

Environmental and sustainability considerations include solar shading, thermal mass, high levels of thermal insulation, high performance windows and doors, photovoltaic and solar thermal panels, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, air-sourced heat pump, electric car charging points and planted flat roofs (biodiversity).

The architectural language is clearly subservient to the ‘grand’ scale of the country house, is reminiscent of agricultural outbuildings and prioritises the garden wall, with a respectful and ‘light weight’ habitable structure wrapped around, enclosing and perched upon it.