Ford Gilpin Riley Architects
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West Ridge Farm (Eco), Cadeleigh

Client: Private
Area: 300 m²
Stage: Project
Description: Replacement Dwelling

The existing West Ridge Farmhouse is sub-standard in terms of layout, thermal performance and resistance to adverse weather conditions. It is extremely wasteful of energy, requiring an excessive use of fossil fuels and consequent adverse carbon-footprint. As a result, we proposed a new replacement dwelling designed and constructed using the principles of “Passivhaus”.

In architectural terms, achieving the correct profile and form for the dwelling was one of the most important elements of the design. It was felt that there should be a strong synergy between the dwelling and its site and that a “conventional” design approach should be substituted by a more organically based and robust solution.

Therefore, the northern edge of the proposal forms a seamless bond with the landscape whilst a distinctive wedge-shape rises up out of the ground, its raking form mirroring the slope of the land. This strong rampart-like treatment is counterpointed by a more lightweight south-facing roofslope which is supported by elements of superstructure forming a balcony and roof overhang, whilst at its northern upstand forms a lantern, bringing natural light into the central core of the building. The south elevation comprises predominantly of glazed areas, which are shaded by the deep overhangs of the roof and balcony deck. This lightweight superstructure is supported by raking timber spars and sits on a strong stone plinth. The western and eastern facades comprise strongly etched masonary forms which are articulated by fewer openings and punctuated by a monolithic chimney stack. The northern elevation has a very low-profile appearance and is almost integrated into the landscape. The “grass” roof finish will connect one of the main elements of the building with the surrounding landscape and blur the edges of the roof planes.

© Ford Gilpin Riley Ltd, Ford House, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, England EX5 3HU
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