Country Home of the Future


This scheme in rural Hampshire proposes a new rural typology based on organic forms and a holistic approach to sustainability. Reversing traditional principles of opulent design and statements of wealth, we wanted this ‘country home of the future’ to respect, enhance and have minimal impact on the surrounding landscape. Built with local materials, the concept was that this building could be ‘reclaimed’ by the earth.

We sought and were granted Planning Permission for the scheme under paragraph 79 (formerly 55) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This policy allows building in the open countryside when a design is considered to be ‘architecturally truly outstanding or innovative.’

The journey along the driveway brings you to the valley between the highest points of the site, where the proposed house will nestle. Vehicle access terminates at the garage to the side of the house, however, the journey continues through the building on foot to a tunnel lit with sun-pipes that leads to a subterranean look-out observatory, peaking out like a blinking eye.

The sculptural design embraces the site’s topography and orientation towards the ponds. Two lower lying ‘orange segments’ allow a ‘bridge’ between the two higher points in the form of living roofs. The two segment forms are predominantly northeast facing and southwest facing. Spaces with less need for natural light face northeast, while the more open plan living areas, terrace and pool face southwest to take advantage of the sunlight and solar gain.

The design features a vegetated earth roof, local Bargate stone, rammed earth and coppiced timber. Passive solar design principles heat the spaces, along with a heat recovery system and biomass heating. The building is mechanically ventilated to ensure constant fresh air.

Builder: Unbuilt
Build Cost & Date: Estimated £2M | Unbuilt
Photography: N/A
Press: The Guardian October 2012 | The Telegraph September 2016 | Homebuilding & Renovating February 2017