A Woodland Family Home

south downs national park, east sussex


Our clients came to us with an old two-storey house on a large plot in the South Downs National Park. The house was set in woodland amongst an array of many different species of tree, including oak, ash, sycamore, beech and pine, as well as a variety of smaller fruit trees.

The existing building was dark, small and inefficient, but the plot was the perfect place in which to create an energy efficient, contemporary family home. By demolishing the existing building and starting again, we were able to meet these goals in a harmonious way.

The setting inspired the design; carefully curated windows locations bring the natural surrounding beauty into the home. The highly insulated reinforced concrete superstructure is clad with a low maintenance palette of rough-cut stone, high-density stratified timber panels and render. A wood pellet boiler heats the home. Interior spaces are both uncluttered and comfortable due to the underfloor heating. Large areas of south-facing glass provide passive solar gain, which is controlled in summer months by the deep overhangs. Additional trees were planted selectively to maintain and encourage a variety of growth.