The Orchard is a new two-storey family house in the London Borough of Lambeth, which was built to fit into a narrow infill plot along a terrace of five architecturally distinct houses.
The vision was to build a contemporary interpretation of the Arts & Crafts house combining 21st century energy and environmental performance with a commitment to traditional craftsmanship.
Inspired by the English vernacular, particularly by Edwin Lutyens, the Orchard was almost entirely hand built by the owner Will Anderson, who wanted to create a home “where the building crafts shine: richly detailed and alive with the beauty of natural materials”.
Built using the principles and software of the Passivhaus movement, the timber-framed structure boasts high levels of insulation and airtightness, except the ground floor porch and first floor conservatory, which were kept outside the heated building envelope to allow a traditional arts and crafts aesthetic.
Northcot’s Silver Grey bricks were traditionally made by hand and fired in a coal-fired kiln. Their finely variegated orange, red and silver tones complemented the blue-white of the lime mortar and the glazed cool blue-green handmade Portuguese porcelain tiles around the windows. Matching specials added an irregular artisan appearance and texture.
The brickwork was laid mostly in stretcher bond, except for areas outside the insulated building envelope, which were built from solid brick without a cavity. These extend upwards from the porch to the base of the first-floor conservatory in a Flemish Garden Wall bond, which features much darker brick headers in a simple, attractive pattern.
The house won Best Brick Home at the Build It Awards 2018.
According to Will Anderson: “The chromatic subtleties of Northcot’s silver grey handmade bricks, with their delicate combination of orange-red tones dusted with fine grey sand, were integral to the uniqueness and sheer visual pleasure of this labour of love.”
Learn more about this project.