Connected architecture

When these clients came to us, they’d been living in the village with their parents for some time. This small bungalow came up for sale, which needed a considerable amount of work. After evaluating the site, we agreed a replacement new-build home was the best solution.

By using the local design language and beautiful flint and timber of the Chilterns, reinterpreted with clean lines and details, our aim was to create a family home with a crisp, stylish finish.

We took a sustainable approach to the design, deliberately orientating the house and using principles from Passivhaus design, to make the house as energy efficient as possible. We were able to make the most of a west-facing outside space for evening sunshine, while fitting in with the established building line.

Both blocks of the building have single-pitch roofs with the roof of the main house ideally orientated for solar panels, and all the upper bedrooms were designed for stunning views of the surrounding countryside to the south.

We sourced materials locally whenever possible, while an air-source heat pump provides underfloor heating and hot water. The property is highly water-efficient throughout: grey water for toilets, laundry and garden irrigation comes from rainwater harvesting and a sedum-planted roof for the car port conserves water while adding to the site’s biodiversity. It has low running and maintenance costs.

This project also gave us the chance to indulge our playful side too. Alongside the pale wood staircase with its sleek glass balustrade, we added an internal slide – a little design touch to add some extra joy to this family’s daily life and have a bit of fun in the process!

This project was designed in collaboration with Heinz Richardson of Buro Nineteen. It won the Chilterns Building Design Awards 2021 and was included in Grand Designs Magazine.

Photos by Inara Home Imagery

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