Simon Foote Architects were approached by a retired couple hoping to create a home-for-life whilst downsizing to fit into their current lifestyle.
They own a small plot of land located next to a brook. The plot has an existing single storey barn that allowed us to initially investigate using permitted development rights, under a Class Q, to convert. Unfortunately, the structure was not suitable for this, so we began negotiations with the local authority to use a volume replacement method to replace the existing building with a home that was unique to its setting and surrounding context.
The plot is located on green belt land in rural Derbyshire, with the brook running through the rear of the site. This offers an idyllic setting but it also comes with its complications. Being situated in a flood zone 3, which is high risk, poses a challenge. We addressed this by responding to the natural surroundings and incorporating a raised platform for the property to sit on. This elevates the home on stilts as a design feature and ensures the house was brought above the 1 in 100 year flood levels, alleviating the risk of flooding.
The design aims to minimise any impact on its setting by reflecting the form and aesthetics of the surrounding agricultural barn structures. We have used local recycled stone and sustainably sourced timber cladding. An accessible open plan layout, that is both flexible and functional for future requirements, has been created with a mezzanine to provide additional space for guests. Large areas of glazing have been incorporated to draw in plenty of daylight and to create a visual link to the natural environment all around the site. Enhancing the resident’s day to day wellbeing through the environment they live in was a critical part of the original brief.
We’re excited to see how the application progresses in 2020.