LCE gained a planning consent for two contemporary houses close to Hurstpierpoint Village centre in the back garden of a Grade II listed building within the Conservation Area. The designs were developed within the context of retaining as many trees as possible and working with the existing unusual topography.
The principle of development was possible by creating a new access at the rear, albeit a ransom strip was involved, ensuring no disruption to the listed house and providing a size of garden to the existing house which is more manageable and more appropriate to 21st century living.
The two houses are served off a single access from Brown Twins Road. Both houses are entered from the north with the living accommodation facing south. Although the houses are very different in plan form, both houses have a degree of split-level accommodation, they have a shared “language” in their appearance and respond to their context in terms of both the topography and their neighbours. Both houses are 2 storey, in whole or part, with flat roofs to keep the height to a minimum. In addition, both houses appear to “nestle” in the ground and the ground levels of both houses are substantially below road level and in a configuration which also helps to prevent any overlooking of the neighbours’ gardens.
The restrained scale of this mini-development is emphasised by the distinctive gardens, a series of three outside “rooms” for each house.
The houses have been designed to offer all the benefits of contemporary living (open plan living space, light airy spaces, large areas of glazing facing the best views) whilst offering very low CO2 production (super insulated, high thermal mass, detailing to enable good control of air leakage, maximisation the glazing facing south, the use of solar thermal collectors and green roofs). But at the same time the materials and form of the buildings are intended to enhance local distinctiveness by making strong reference (though not copying) traditional buildings and external materials found locally.
The services of LCE were retained to see one of the houses (no. 11) through to completion.
Photographs by Robert Broughton