This small project makes a big impact! This property has access to particularly impressive vistas but, frustratingly, the former arrangement didn’t allow our client to enjoy the setting fully. We devised a scheme to alter and extend the existing, narrow, raised patio with a circular layout forming an external dining area.
The cylindrical form is wrapped in larch to sympathetically contrast with stonework which features heavily in the original building. A helical stone staircase, beautifully built by H.A Briddon of Tansley, leads to an external lower terrace providing further entertaining space for maximum enjoyment of the gardens and wider landscape.
We have updated our website to incorporate some recently finished and photographed projects.....
There are 2 new projects in 'Extensions', Sydnope Stand & The Homestead, and 1 in 'Unusual projects'......enjoy!
We call it the 'Jabba'! It is a partially pre-fabricated, modular building which is being let out on an existing campsite in the Peak District.
The design allows the building to be assembled quickly and relatively easily, and the size can be reduced or increased to suit a variety of purposes such as a garden office/studio, a bird hide or an outdoor classroom.
The 'Jabba' is clad in rough sawn larch but many other materials could be used including slate, wriggly tin etc.
Sure Start, Rosehill is a lively, colourful, nursery and community centre, wrapped around a south facing garden creating an oasis of calm for young children in a fairly busy and cosmopolitan area of Derby. ‘The Big Building’ was the winning entry when local school children were invited to choose a name.
The Big Building is designed around passive solar principles. It has highly insulated north facing walls with very few openings to minimize heat loss through the vulnerable fabric. South facing elevations are glazed and the office and nursery accommodation looks onto the south facing garden through a two-story atrium space. This passively heats the building. Heat gain is controlled by automatically opening and closing louvres to the patent glazing, which are also fitted with rain sensors. The building is designed to be entirely naturally ventilated with a free flow of air throughout the building.
Solar thermal cells to the roof supplement the hot water heating system. The building has a glulam timber frame structure that is exposed throughout. External walls to the northern elevation are block and brightly coloured render.
Rainwater is recycled and used for washing machines, for flushing the w.c's and for an outside water supply to the garden.
A focal point in the garden is our ‘solar tree’. The ‘tree’ supports photo-voltaic panels which will be used to charge batteries for an electric mini-bus, and will encourage children to think about sustainable design.
The garden is made secure by a stunning stainless steel ‘crinkle–crankle’ fence that incorporates seats and insects, which was designed by the sculptor Dennis O’Connor.
The nursery garden is bounded by a busy road, a high wall and an electricity substation!
We created a series of introspective spaces deeply buried amongst plants. Each space facilitates an aspect of the national curriculum for outdoor play. So, for example, there is an ‘amphitheatre’ for drama, assembly and special occasions, large enough to seat everyone. By contrast a much smaller and more introspective space is created by wrapping a small seat around the trunk of a pear tree where one-to-one reading can take place.
We organised a workshop at Peartree Infants School, Derby with foundation children and staff. Ninety children were involved in the workshop, the aim of which was to create a huge amphitheatre using bean poles. The children built the structure sharing tasks of filling buckets, planting beans and securing canes.
We were invited to look at what could be done with a huge bowling green in Hornscroft Park, Bolsover.
Unused for nine years, the green was becoming a problem to local residents as an informal gathering place for anti-social behaviour.
Working with Mary Wardle, a landscape designer, we proposed cutting gently sloping terraces into the green space. Edged with railway sleepers each terrace created an edge to sit on and an outdoor amphitheatre for formal or informal use within which 2000 people could gather.
This is a project to restore and repair a collection of outbuildings in Roston, Derbyshire.
An interesting house, derelict for around 25 years and a pig sty are to be carefully re-built, while a less attractive linking agricultural shed is to be replaced with a contemporary alternative.
The conversion will create a sustainable family home using a Ground Source Heat Pump and a reed bed drainage system.
We won a competition to design an experimental one off house to be constructed in the grounds of Nottingham University. The brief required us to produce a solution which could be reproduced as a terrace for approximately a third of the cost of a conventional house and which was sufficiently energy efficient to require no heating!
Our response was to design a house which has a compact floor area and relies on passive solar design. The design is extremely simple. The house has highly insulated north, east and west walls with the minimum number of openings compatible with acceptable daylight levels. The southern elevation consists of a fully glazed two-layer sun space.
The sun space can be used to assist heating and cooling by opening or closing both layers to the inside/outside depending on the season and weather conditions.
The stepped profile roof, and an open ground floor plan creates low pressure around high level windows at the top of the roof space internally which helps to naturally encourage a flow of air through the house which further helps both heating and cooling.
Ducting laid underground during construction provides a constant supply of air at around 10ºC whatever the season. This can be admitted into the sun space to pre-heat or pre-cool the space.
We wanted the house to be fun to live in, which some low energy projects tend not to be. The sun space therefore can be inhabited at ground and first floor level to interconnect living and bedroom spaces and create a sense of drama.
Whilst sustainability is a key aspect of all of our projects some offer greater opportunities than others.
Our most published and visible project is the BASF house at Nottingham University which is designed to be low cost and require no heating. Our Sure Start children’s centre in Derby won, amongst other awards, the first East Midlands RIBA award for Sustainable Design.
As part of the design process we always sit down with our clients and discuss their energy needs and advise them as to how the design of a building can dramatically reduce energy consumption. Where possible we try to place buildings in a way which makes best use of natural resources and daylight.