- Location Essex, UK
- Status Built
- Service Architecture
- Sector Residential
- Area 380m²/4,000ft²
- Client Confidential
Make’s design for this ‘daringly simple’ modern house is highly sustainable, offers high levels of comfort and durability, and uses materials that relate to the surroundings.
The lower volume of the house responds to the sloping topography of the site in three key ways: it splits to allow the northern portion to step up by 300mm, the northeast corner cantilevers over a drop in the land, and the west elevation is slightly dug-in. This floor holds the main entrance, five bedrooms and en suites, a guest bathroom, open-plan kitchen and dining area, and a terrace that opens onto the back garden. The volume is clad in stone and dark timber, with floor-to-ceiling glazing along the east elevation. The west facade is more solid for the sake of privacy.
The smaller upper volume of the house is clad in large panels of stainless steel. We expressed it as a lightweight box that hovers above its base and is rotated slightly south-east to act as a ‘lookout’, with views towards the distant Blackwater Estuary. It contains the family living room and a covered balcony that stretches the length of the east elevation.
The sustainable design includes standout features such as an air source heat pump, green roof, LED lighting and triple glazing throughout, solar panels, and airtightness tested to Passivhaus standards. Make produced the concept design and took it through planning. The client undertook their own interior design.
Sustainability was a key driver in the design of this house, and I'm delighted we were able to work in so many different elements, like the air source heat pump and green roof.