The site of Hitchambury Farm near Taplow, has remained disused for much of the past decade; occupied by derelict farm buildings and overgrown vegetation.
We were approached by our clients to design a contemporary, 4/5 bedroom home to be embedded within this sensitive site.
Having already maximised the eco-potential of their current house a few miles up the road, environmental sustainability was at the core of our clients’ brief; aiming to go beyond the Passivhaus standard.
Situated some distance from the village boundary of Taplow, the proposed dwelling was judged under the strict new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Para 55 relating to the exceptional design quality of new homes in the countryside. It was initially refused permission but at appeal this was overturned and permission was granted in September 2014.
The appeal inspector found “that the careful siting, composition and articulation of the architectural forms into a naturalistic setting would reflect the highest standard in architecture”.
Hicthambury Farm was the first new par 55 house to have been permitted in Green Belt that wasn’t a replacement dwelling. The project has also been awarded funding by the Technology Strategy Board for the work being done by Ulster University on the pioneering underground Seasonal Thermal Energy Store which will form part of the scheme.
The clients will be having a very active roll in the construction of the house and have started a Hitchambury Blog to document their progress.
We came up with an upside-down layout for the house maximising the views to the south from the ‘daytime’ spaces (including kitchen, dining, sitting room and a study), and semi–submerging the ‘night-time’ spaces (bedrooms, cinema room, bathrooms) of the lower ground floor into the earth to minimise the visual impact of the house as a whole.