Project Low Carbon House, York

We were appointed to provide a full architectural service from concept design, planning, technical design and through to construction stage. The new house for our client is located on a village site on land they owned close to the family home which meant they knew and loved the area.

Together with our clients brief we began the process of assessing the mature walled garden site and considered how to create views from every room. We created a modest, yet elegant, split-level house that lies quietly in the garden, the main inspiration for the character of the new house, and it connects seamlessly with the naturalistic planting created over many years by our clients.

As this was to be their retirement home everything could be chosen from scratch as we were building a new property specially built for their needs and enjoyment. The house is approached from the south side porch level with the sweeping drive with a curved boundary wall and a long veranda facing south that welcomes visitors and connects to the garage building on the east side.  Inside, all the main accommodation is arranged in a natural sequence of rooms from the garden entrance, utility and kitchen, dining, living area, study and bedrooms.  Although single storey the spaces open up to the roof bringing light and volume into the house. The entrance steps down one level towards the garden where a panoramic sitting area links with the enclosed garden and terrace. Views of the garden can be seen on arrival as interior glass balustrades allow you to see down and through to the woods and field beyond the walled garden.

The buff colour brick faced timber framed house is built to passive house thermal standards which means the floor, walls, roof, windows and doors have excellent performance throughout the year, levelling out the highs of summer and the cooler temperatures of winter and requiring only low levels of heating from the air source heat pump system. The windows doors and roof lights are triple glazed providing good levels of light and natural ventilation when required. The insulation materials we specified are natural wood fibre insulation which gives thermal mass for a sustainable low carbon home with healthy indoor comfort.

One year on from completion our clients invited us round to see how they had settled in. They love the special spaces we have designed for them and are very happy with the attention to detail and the care we showed in realising their vision, and the garden has softened the edges where the building now stands. The house is an environmentally considered building that balances their indoor wellbeing with perfect accessibility to the natural recreational spaces outside.