Tag Archives: NEW HOUSE

Sophie’s House

Our clients wanted a fully accessible house for their daughter within the grounds of their existing home.

The design is conceptualized as a walled secret garden, continuing from the existing boundary wall, and forms the north elevation of the new house. The heavily insulated walls are clad on the north side in render and with larch on the south.

Slot glazing minimizes heat loss on all elevations except the southern aspect, which enjoys views over the ‘secret garden’ and access out onto a south-facing patio.

The energy efficient house is fitted with a simple strip of Solar Photovoltaic panels which take full advantage of the near perfect orientation.

North View

 Our clients wanted to construct a single story home for themselves, as their current house had become difficult for them to live in. They did not want to leave the village and their friends so hoped to build a suitable dwelling in their garden.

We suggested constructing a building with a mono-pitch roof off two low walls to the boundary. From the neighbours’ perspective, this would be no more invasive than the erection of a fence, which could be erected without planning consent.

The site had complicated planning issues to resolve. These included overlooking problems as well as an awkwardly shaped site. The Planning Authority were very resistant to the idea.

The roof pitch means that we were able to use sedum to create a living roof which is both attractive and thermally very efficient.

The Blue House

 A new house in Wash Green, Wirksworth on an awkward corner site.

Before the house was built, the view of Wash green on leaving Wirksworth was one of an ugly pre-cast concrete retaining wall.

The wall still exists, but by planning the house on the corner and on the permanent edge, a sense of continuity with the street is introduced and the view of the wall is lost.

A splash of colour is introduced to brighten the street scene (as can be found in the centre of the town), and cedar cladding is used to turn the corner and introduce a silver grey colouring, suggestive of the colour of the locally quarried limestone.

BASF House

 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.

Moot Point

 So called because of our clients self-professed ability to pontificate over design ideas, rather than its proximity to the historic Moot Hall opposite, Moot Point is a new house in the historic Conservation Area of Wirksworth. The house is built along simple, passive and sustainable design principles.

The north facing elevation has few openings and extra insulation has been added. The south facing elevation is highly glazed to maximize solar gain. A conservatory is used to contribute to the heating, with the living and dining spaces opening into it a ground and first floor level. This is particularly effective in spring and autumn. All rainwater is filtered and recycled and timber was specified where allowed to keep construction materials in line with the projects sustainable aims.


Eloise was built in the garden of our client’s parent’s property, so that she would be able to look after them in their old age.

There was initial resistance from the Planning Authority to this idea because the building would create a break in the linear development set deep behind a stone wall which characterised the setting.

Eloise is designed therefore to have the feel of a ‘gatehouse’ which gives a rationale to its setting.

A large glazed south facing atrium is a focal point to the house and maximizes sunlight and views. Externally, earthy coloured render and timber cladding give the house a feel appropriate to it’s garden setting.

Sustainable Design

 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.

Hillside view

This is a new private dwelling on a hillside in Oker. The site, whilst being restricted in terms of access and size, offers wonderful south facing views across the valley and to the hillside beyond. The village of Oker itself has an eclectic mix of building styles so there is no prevailing ‘style’. We felt that this would allow us to use a mixed palette of materials including timber boarding which would reflect the woodland backdrop.