“Creating 4 bespoke lifetime homes, individually designed to each owners needs yet unified to give a wonderful sense of place ”
The government is encouraging communities to produce their own neighbourhood development plans. Our clients live in a village where the Parish Council identified the need for a small development of ‘downsizer’ homes. The Parish Council asked our clients to include one of their fields in the local Neighbourhood Plan.
Our clients had a group of friends who all wanted to downsize into smaller future-proof properties within the village. They couldn’t find any, hence the need for this development of warm, energy efficient homes, which are full of character. Our clients have sold three plots to their friends and retained one for themselves. All four parties are currently working with us as separate clients. The homes are being individually designed, but have a homogeneous approach to the whole site.
Our clients spoke to an oak frame manufacturer and obtained some indicative costs for hypothetical schemes. These were far too high and they found it impossible to get a handle on what costs were included and/or excluded. They thought that the project would never get off the ground due to the enormous costs involved.
Feeling somewhat despondent, they began their search again and came across our website. They rang us on a Monday and we met with them two days later. At that point, they appointed us to do a detailed feasibility study of the overall scheme. They were greatly encouraged by the results. Early signs are that the scheme is eminently feasible. If the Neighbourhood Plan is eventually approved, having done this preliminary work, they will be in a good position to move forward with a detailed planning application.
Josh Wood, architectural designer, says “It is very rare that an architect gets the chance to design a community of houses in which each house is designed specifically for those living in them. This will be the brief for this project, and it presents us with an opportunity to do something very special. The trick will be to design a family of houses that will adhere to some chosen designs cues whilst maintaining their own sense of individuality. A family is, after all, a group of individuals that stem from the same DNA. The site offers expansive views to the south, whilst creating a sense of intimacy and privacy, endorsed by a beautiful selection of grand trees. The brief for this site is to maintain privacy for each plot whilst fostering some level of neighbourliness. This will be achieved very efficiently by the integration of converging access to each plot, a point at which all shall meet and gain a sense of belonging. From the private aspects of each house, the occupier will feel like they are left alone to marvel at the views. If, and when, the Neighbourhood Plan has been approved, we shall take individual briefs from the purchaser of each plot and turn them into architecture. The result will be a set of houses that meet each client’s aspirations yet conform to a finely crafted DNA that will govern the whole site. This DNA will take cues from the rural vernacular, from the Arts and Crafts movement and from a desire to replicate the character found in older buildings in a contemporary fashion that avoids the trap of becoming pastiche.”
We are looking forward to seeing this project completed by the end of July 2019.