Architect Ian Armstrong had long dreamt of undertaking his own self build. In 2010, after a four-year search for the perfect plot, an opportunity finally arose for Ian and his wife Lisa to realise their vision.
However, Ian wasn’t immediately gripped with excitement at the prospect of tackling his own project. “It felt like someone else’s scheme,” he says. “Because I do this day-in, day-out for clients at the practice, Arco2 Sustainable Architecture, it wasn’t until I moved in that it really hit me.”
For Ian, tracking down a site in his desired area – that also fell into a suitable price bracket – proved challenging.
Having lived and worked in the region for years, he didn’t hesitate when a semi-rural plot with outline planning permission for two new houses came onto the market.
The existing planning consent was for two fairly unremarkable, traditional-looking houses. However, Ian soon set about tweaking the original proposal into something with greater visual appeal that responded to his own brief, as well as the unique characteristics of the site.
Inside the house, Ian was keen to maintain a bright and airy feel. To achieve this, he stuck to a minimal colour palette throughout.
“All the walls and ceilings are white, but I went bold with all the skirtings and architraves, which are black,” he says.
Gloss white kitchen units work in harmony with concrete worktops and flooring downstairs, while an oak engineered product has been specified as the floor finish upstairs.
“There’s underfloor heating (UFH) downstairs set directly into the concrete surface, powered by an air source heat pump (ASHP),” says Ian. “Upstairs we’ve not installed any heating, so I wanted a material that’d be warmer underfoot.”
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