“We found a site that proved a real challenge. Leigh has been an absolute godsend in leading us through the project.
It was quite a challenge to satisfy two families, each with different ideas of what a modern house should look like. Leigh has managed this and produced a pair of designs that really sit well together and integrate nicely with the site. Leigh took our initial quite detailed brief and even his first offering managed to accommodate every element of the brief. The designs have progressed a long way since then, but without losing any of the original features that we liked so much, and yet evolving into something altogether much better.”
Private clients, Hampshire
Photographs (c) Matt Chisnall
The site in Four Marks, Hampshire, is surrounded by protected trees whose Root Protection Zones cover almost the entire site and dictated both the design form and construction of the foundations of the houses. The gently sloping site coupled with a piled foundation system allowed the suspended ground floor slabs to be lifted out of the ground preventing damage to the roots and ensuring that ground water is still able to get to the roots. The effect is to give the appearance of the houses floating out over the site as the ground falls away.
The use of additional insulation, tight air-leakage limits, whole house ventilation with heat recovery, photovoltaic panels and wood burning stoves with LED lighting throughout will mean that the energy usage of these buildings is kept to a minimum. Cedar shingles and rainwater harvesting utilising the space below the ground floor slabs add to the environmental credentials of these houses. As the cedar shingles weather and silver naturally the sculptural houses will blend further into their woodland setting.
Adjacent to the A31, acoustic screening and a heavy masonry structure will limit noise from one side of the site while the north of the site will benefit positively from the passing sound of the occasional train along the adjacent Watercress Line, a volunteer and enthusiast run local steam train line.