A new build detached house in East Sussex occupies a elevated position on a gently sloping site with the principal views looking south towards the South Downs.
Two brick farm buildings are to be demolished and a timber barn at the southern end retained/rebuilt. It comprises of two distinct blocks with double pitched roofs and hipped ends. The scale and form are redolent of barns found in the area and the overall shifting roof geometry relates to the undulating silhouette of the South Downs.
Accommodation is on two floors with the lower below the sloping ground level and contained by a continuous retaining wall. This excavation extends beyond the house footprint to form two sunken gardens. Excavated material is used to build gently raised berms to contain the gardens and ensure the lower floor is hidden and that the house appears as single storey from all viewpoints.
Roof and elevations are clad in locally sourced chestnut vertical boarding. The lower level exposed to the south is fully glazed and set back from the cladding to appear in shadow. To maximise daylight penetration to both floors there is a ribbon of glazed skylights at roof ridge level. These alternate with solar panels which all have a shallow pitch to minimise any visual impact when viewed from ground level.
The exposed internal structure will further enhance and emphasise the experience of barn buildings central to the overall concept.
East Sussex, 2009