House in the Woods, sustainable dwelling.

Work in Progress - A replacement family dwelling on a north facing river valley in Surrey. The house uses seasoned oak and ash from the surrounding ancient woodland. The three bedroom house is designed to have a close relationship with its woodland setting, the surrounding oak arcade creates an external circulation area that blurs the line between inside and outside. Meanwhile, to maximise the benefits of south aspect, a sunny courtyard becomes the heart of the house. The house is designed to passiv house standards and uses every method available to reduce energy loss; insulation, cold bridge detailing, glazing spec and aspect, solar panels and air source heat pump, HRV, LED lighting, smart systems and use of local materials.

The design is about making a building that seems to be part of the woodland and will age naturally. The landscape design is domesticated only to the south courtyard side.

This building is a good example of slow architecture with the design long mulled over and carried out very much as a collaboration with the clients who acted as main contractors.  The timber was harvested in 2006 from their own woods and extracted by horses and left to season. The strict local planning policy required that any enlargement of the footprint of the existing floor area be done underground- and so there is a generous basement built using the victorian strategy of a double wall. The client is a surveyor and so had considerable experience with the difficulties of concrete structures in in clay hillsides. The victorian approad to basements is that the double wall allows the outer wall to leak if necessary and and a well ventilated drainage channel drains any water. The inner well insulated skin therefore never gets wet.

Design 2002 - 2018 (Planning 2006)
Construction 2011 - 2019