Rooms with a View
A RURAL RETREAT INSPIRED BY A SIMPLE BARN
A LARGE FAMILY HOME WHICH IS DESIGNED TO REPLACE A 1930'S HOUSE IN THE SOUTH DOWNS NATIONAL PARK.
This new dwelling in Sussex is inspired by a simple agricultural outbuilding that currently occupies the site. From a distance, the house appears to be more like a barn than a domestic dwelling and gently floats above the surrounding landscape.
Oak was chosen as the primary construction material as there is a long tradition of timber-framed buildings in the area, and because it is ecological, sustainable, flexible and beautiful. The house is clad externally in rough sawn boards which are left untreated and will quickly weather to a silver grey colour.
The interior is carefully planned around the owner’s lifestyle and to enable them to enjoy the extraordinary parkland setting. Window and door positions are chosen to frame the surrounding views and directly connect the house with the landscape. Car parking is integrated into the dwelling and completely hidden from view.
The living and kitchen areas are separated from the bedrooms to maintain privacy and are connected by a top-lit glazed gallery which provides a continuous view through the house to the landscape beyond. The gallery is oriented east-west and catches the morning and evening sun.
The living room is overlooked by a mezzanine which is secretly connected to the adjoining master bedroom. The pitched roof structure is exposed in the kitchen and living areas to echo the feel, warmth and volume of a traditional barn and the timber-panelled walls are left in their natural state and untreated.
The house is prefabricated off site using cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and is designed to be easily disassembled at future date without harming the site. It is built to Passivhaus standards with a very low annual space heating energy demand – resulting in just 550 kg of CO2 emissions per annum. This is the equivalent of a 75% reduction in annual fuel bills over a new build home of a similar size built to current building regulation standards. In order to meet the low energy demand, the house has a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery, which provides a continuous supply of filtered fresh air to prevent allergies and reduce overall energy use.