Replacement House in Green Belt

Client: Private
Completed: 2012

Budget: Undisclosed

"Allan Joyce Architects made the whole process hugely enjoyable and we ended up with a house that we are completely happy with. The design responded to the site beautifully with one end overhanging the beck that runs along one side. The house is always warm and the eco features mean it is economical to run. Overall, we would recommend Allan Joyce Architects wholeheartedly to anyone wanting a beautiful ecologically sound home that will be a joy to live in.

The original brief was to investigate extending and reorganising the existing cottage. Following discussions with the local planning authority it was agreed that extending would not be suitable, as the house is located in Green Belt land. With this is mind, it was felt that constructing a replacement dwelling would represent better value for money, as it would be exempt from tax, and would answer the client’s brief better.

We designed a house that responded to the unique and special site, which is bounded by the Dover Beck to the west and has fantastic views across the surrounding fields to the south and west. The form of the building was kept simple to relate to the form and materials of the functional agricultural vernacular surrounding the site. A red multi brick was used at ground floor, with richly coloured oak timber cladding boards above. Dark grey aluminium cladding was used to highlight projections from the house including the front entrance and a picture box window from the master bedroom, which frames views over the fields to the west. A cantilevered external balcony projects over the beck, providing a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the scenery. A corner window with sliding doors and large areas of south facing glazing give views down the garden, as well as benefitting from passive solar gains in the winter.

A number of eco technologies were incorporated into the design including an air source heat pump, solar hot water heating and a whole house ventilation and heat recovery system. High levels of insulation in the floors, walls and roof help to keep heat losses to a minimum and therefore running costs are very low.