north-south section

Private Dwelling House


This house is located on a north-facing slope in the Quantocks Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in western Somerset. A heavy, masonry ‘base’, containing bedrooms and utility spaces, is topped by a light-weight, timber-framed upper-storey , the latter providing living spaces that open up to the private, rear garden – a former orchard. The resultant massing of the house across the slope is designed to allow it to sit in its own shadow, to allow sunlight to reach the northern, entrance-approach side of the house. The house is also designed to be a stimulating environment for the couple’s grandchildren, with a sleeping/play ‘den’ located deep within the masonry base, complete with secret door to the garden; and nearby wet room – useful after long, muddy walks!

Heating and hot water is supplied via a ground source heat pump and solar water-heating; with under-floor heating used throughout, to be compatible with the low-temperature water from the heat pump. This highly thermally-efficient house uses utilises waste paper insulation in its walls and roofs; in combination with triple-glazing throughout.