Two subtly different houses

Clients Tim & Marilyn approached me some time ago, looking for a site for a new Passivhaus. As is often the case, some time passed and then I heard from them again – they were buying an old cottage with planning consent for two new homes on a plot to the rear. The scheme had […]

A converted coalshed

Sometimes I meet clients early in their journey towards finding a suitable opportunity to do what they want. Mick & Sadie met me when they were in what turned out to be the early stages of finding a site. They wanted land to build a small house; most people don’t seem to want small houses […]

A view which turned things upside-down

One of my recent Passivhaus projects started as a request to “Passivhausify” an existing design – the client had bought a site with an existing planning consent for a very conventional double-fronted detached two-storey house. He had done a more contemporary version of this using SketchUp, and wanted me to tweak this to give better […]

My Favourite One That Got Away

One of the things I’ve always most loved about being an architect is the fact that projects – if they go the way you always hope – end up as very real, physical things. Buildings make a big impact on our places and lives and being part of that process is exciting and satisfying. But […]

Moving Next Door to a Passivhaus

Peter & Margot had lived in their fairly substantial home for many years, but quietly hankered after something warmer and easier to maintain as they got older. Conveniently, their detached home had a substantial garden and there was an inviting gap between their house and the neighbouring one – like a missing tooth in the […]

The Search for Kitchen Sunlight

Robert & Catherine live in a lovely end-terrace house – late Victorian / early Edwardian, with main rooms having high ceilings. The house also has a pleasant rear garden, often used by the family. However, a stumbling block to this was that it also had a double garage between the garden and the house, and […]

Distant Design for a Passivhaus

Tim and JJ Shepherd lived in Singapore, with Tim approaching retirement from teaching geography at an international school. They were moving to the UK, which basked in a balmy climate, according to Tim’s promises. He needed a warm home, and he liked the sound of Passivhaus as an approach. After some searching, a site was […]

Our Home, My Office

Shortly after Tim and JJ’s house was completed, the Victorian end-terrace house next door came up for sale. Fronting onto mature trees at the foot of Little Hob Moor across a short unadopted road, and with the rear of the site running onto a strip of Stray land and the wildlife reserve managed by the […]

The latest addition to a family of side additions

Some years ago I designed an extension for friends; widening their typically-narrow kitchen (in the back addition of a Victorian terraced house) by adding a sloping glazed roof just inboard of a newly-raised and insulated party wall, and removing the flank wall of the kitchen to open out into the additional space. It worked well, […]