One of our projects, a new home in the picturesque village of Battle, East Sussex, has been submitted for planning approval. Our brief, to design a four bedroomed home with a family sized level of interior space, had to observe the ‘cottage’ style design prevalent in the area as well as the restraints of inserting a new home between two Grade 2 listed buildings. We recognised the need to provide a roof level as low as possible to avoid overpowering the adjacent buildings and attained this by introducing a ‘skeiling’, a Sussex feature, whereby the first floor ceiling perimeter follows the roof slope. We also recognised the need to minimise the apparent mass of the building and selected a ground floor extension to accommodate the increased level of interior space required by the brief. This enabled us to present the main part of the building in as compact a form as possible. It also allowed us to propose an area of green roof, as can be seen in the image below, providing visual relief and increasing biodiversity in the scheme as the meadow grass planted sedum will attract birds and bees.
Exterior features follow the palette of materials prevalent in the area, namely plain clay tile clad walls and roof, half-gable roof profile and black metal rainwater goods. Modern features, such as aluminium/timber composite windows and zinc clad ground floor extension, were selected to provide a modern take on traditional components. One such feature, the chimney stack, has been reinvented for this project to provide a passive stack ventilation element, assisting in the provision of a well ventilated interior with little or no mechanical equipment.
The simplicity of the exterior is continued inside, with the main living area, being a combined living/kitchen/dining space with elevated evening sitting area, presented as a well lit whole, with furniture placed to segregate the different areas without appearing cluttered. Window positions and sizes were carefully considered to ensure the space is light but also to provide views of the different parts of the garden.