Our client on this project had had previous experience of building a house, not all of which was good, and having purchased a site with an existing dwelling on it, was ready to start the process of building a new house; but this time a little wiser. DUA Architecture were the fourth practice that our client approached.
As with all our work, context is a key factor and we give particular importance to orientation - how will the sun fall on the building? Is there shelter from the prevailing wind? Can passive solar energy be used to heat the house for free? Are there trees that will provide summer shading?
In this instance, the thinking was that by moving the habitable accommodation to the north of the site and stepping the plan in to the south, maximum solar gain could be achieved. This led to the internal layout being rotated through 45 degrees, corresponding to the stepped plan and generating dynamic internal spaces.
The design of the house makes best use of the available sunlight, so it was vital that the fabric of the building could retain the heat. To achieve this, the walls and roof were designed with levels of insulation well in excess of that required under UK building regulations.