Monthly Archives: August 2016

A New Farm House In The Woods!

Designing new houses in the countryside can be quite challenging. There are many architectural styles, but finding the right style for the site is the key challenge.

Thinking Buildings have recently been asked to help with the development of a replacement farmhouse on an agricultural site. There could be a tendency to design a very traditional ‘farm house’ style building, in brick with a tiled roof.  But for this scheme we wanted to create a building which was more agricultural in style, but with modern elements in a traditional form.

The house is split into 3 elements, a larger traditional brick ‘barn’ type structure, a smaller more modern timber element which might read as a smaller barn and a lightweight glass linking structure. Many barns have large openings, typically for vehicles or livestock use, so we purposely designed large openings to give a sense of large scale. The materials are quite agricultural, with traditional barn brick and tile to the main building, but board-on-board timber cladding and a metal roof to the smaller block which might be found on modern barns. The linking structure is intended to read as a modern linking structure and houses the house stair.

We think the house respects its agricultural setting by using local brick, metal roofs and timber cladding but uses different techniques in a more contemporary fashion.

Time was taken to talk to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to explain our thought process. The response was very positive. The design has now be completed and submitted to the LPA. We wait to hear the results.

The view is produced in our 3D modelling programme, which allows us to prototype the building and then produce these great semi-realistic views of the house.

New Modern Eco House With Traditional References

Quite often we’re asked to help in situations where a client is struggling to obtain planning approval for their scheme. We’re involved with many planning applications each year and so we have lots experience of working with many different planning departments. We can help work through the bureaucracy, but unfortunately, we can’t do much to help with the timescales of planning departments. They do seem to be getting worse.

The scheme above is one such example where our client has previously tried to obtain planning approval for a replacement house, but was refused at application stage and then refused at planning appeal. The council considered their original design was too modern and not in keeping with the traditional predominantly gable-fronted dwellings on the street. We were approached to help develop a house design which was both modern / contemporary but also reflected or took reference from the traditional house shapes on the street. We think it does this well, if we do say ourselves and the client is very pleased!

The house will eventually be built by Meisterstück-HAUS,. The Meisterstück-HAUS system is a timber framed house with very thermally efficient walls, floors and roofs. The houses come standard with triple glazed timber windows and doors. The houses are pre-fabricated in Germans, loaded onto a lorry and delivered to your site in the UK ready for the German assembly team to erect in less than a week normally!