4 clients, 3 generations, 2 sustainable homes, 1 plot of land
A multi-generation family commissioned these two new homes in rural Hampshire in 2015. Their brief to Adams+Collingwood Architects was to realise their family dream and design a pair of sustainable houses for three generations to make their home.
Adams+Collingwood effectively worked to two different briefs, designing each house to suit the individual needs of its residents, whilst being mindful that architecturally they work as a whole and deliver a cost-effective, sustainable way of life for the entire family.
The smaller house, home to the grandparents, is a cosy, quiet retreat with a traditional pitched roof, whilst the larger has a more contemporary mono pitch roof and is designed to be a social gathering space for the parents, children and their friends.
Both houses are south facing and sit on the same northern axis against a public road and mature tree line which creates a beautiful natural frame to the north, opening out onto the family’s picturesque meadow to the south.
The northern main entrances to both houses feature large light filled hallways with views straight through to the meadow. Both have generous staircases at their heart and in the larger house this has become a central feature. Independent Corian-shaped triangular treads are designed to let maximum light through and cast playful shadows.
Adams+Collingwood took the decision early on to focus on long term quality and use the same materials and detailing in both houses which creates an interesting dialogue when expressed in two different forms.
Each roof is detailed in standing seam zinc to achieve crisp edges. The planners required brick elevations, but typical red brick would have looked out of place on the contemporary build so the architects sourced highly unusual pearl grey long bricks and teamed these with blush pink lime mortar. This creates a subtle counterpoint to the rich red cedar cladding, glazing and dark grey zinc and softens the houses into their natural environment.
The family bought the plot of land with a caravan on the site, which the grandparents remained in for the duration of the construction. The project programme was driven by the very real need for them to move out of the cramped caravan and into their new home. Adams+Collingwood worked closely with their clients to guide them through the programme and help manage their budget by using the same construction methods on both houses to gain economy of scale.
Sustainability formed an integral part of the brief from the outset. The clients asked for low maintenance homes that would pay for themselves and Adams+Collingwood worked hard to push for a sustainable build within budget. Although AECB certification was not a requirement, the houses employ the ‘silver standard’ ethos for sustainable homes. Construction was designed to suit traditional and sustainable building methods, with a local builder and tradespeople employed on site.
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