10 per cent of new homes bitcoin architectural styles custom-built. Local councils are facing pressure to identify suitable plots under the Government’s new Right to Build scheme.
The most important box to tick is the planning one. Your plot, design, architect and builder can all be brilliant but without the planners’ green light your project will never get off the ground. What gets nodded through in one borough may be rejected half a mile down the road, as planning officers juggle environmental concerns, aesthetic judgements, local area rules, neighbours’ objections and precedent. It’s a truly original home that evolved from the need to reflect local building style while giving the family of four the space and views they wanted.
The central section is a wedge-shaped, double-height, glazed entrance hall and stairwell, which provides the wow factor while linking the two living sections either side. In fact, this grand design is a very modern interpretation of a traditional farmhouse and barn, with the bulk of the family living space in the stone-clad barn-style section and the adults’ sitting room and master bedroom suite in the rendered farmhouse-style side. Both wings are set at an angle to the middle block, allowing it to stand out but not dominate the landscape. Owners Lisa and Nigel Dunnington secured their building plot by buying land with derelict farm buildings that already had planning permission for a replacement house. The challenge was creating a home that would please the Dunningtons and the planners.
Peter Bamber, who designed the three-in-one solution. The planning officers didn’t want anything out of context. But farm buildings are traditionally in a cluster of farmhouse, barn and outbuildings, so that’s how the three separate elements evolved. Bamber’s original concept was even more so. Three different architectural designs were not an issue in this case. I wanted the two outer sections to be as simple as possible. Then I could have fun with the glazed focal point in the middle.
10 miles north of Preston, has a lower ground floor on the barn side for the garage, cinema room and utility, with open-plan kitchen and living space above, and four bedrooms plus a den for the children on the first floor. The whole family can make the most of the open views and sunsets from the glazed middle section and full-length windows in both wings. Lisa, who project-managed the build, researching the best materials and using both her flair for interior design and experience as an accountant. Having lived here for two years we also know it’s incredibly energy-efficient. Everyone who comes here loves it. Cobham, Surrey, Caroline Wilson and Neil Curham didn’t think they were asking too much when they wanted to enlarge and update the tired-looking house they’d bought. The houses in their road were a mix of Sixties and Seventies styles, recently added WAG mansions and a large listed red-brick Victorian house next door.
In short, there was no consistent architectural blueprint. If one side was in agreement with what we put forward, the other wasn’t. In the end their architect, Avril Silva of Cobham architecture firm Silva Lindley, came up with a two-faced house. Caroline wasn’t convinced by the idea at first, but it was the best way to give the family the contemporary look and space they wanted. Curham are certainly convinced now.
It’s hard to believe it’s the same house, but it’s our home for life now. Getting anything new built in a National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty complicates the planning game, but it can result in ingenuity, too. A classic case of triumph over restrictions is the extension to Hunsett Mill House in the Norfolk Broads National Park. The planners didn’t want it to dominate the tranquil riverside scene, so architects firm Acme created a dark timber structure reflecting the shape of the original cottage so it looked like its shadow.
The result won multiple awards. Dunningtons had only one close neighbour, who was pleased something was happening with the derelict farm site. It was a different story for Deborah and Nathan Pryor, however, who wanted to build a contemporary clifftop house in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Porthleven on the south Cornish coast, above the beach she played on as a child. It took us 20 months to get approval, was a huge financial strain and nearly drove us to divorce! Local architect Ben White came up with a contemporary design using white render and glazing but with two distinct sections made of Cornish stone at the front and rear.
The stone sections helped win planning approval, but they also give the house stability against the storms that can lash this part of the coast. White, who designed the house while working for Truro architects Lilly Lewarne and has since set up on his own. Stucco, render and stone are the traditional building materials in this area and you can tie these elements into a contemporary design. Carillion collapse: will pensions still be paid? Are investors right to worry about a bond market correction? My cricket tickets were lost in the post, why won’t Royal Mail reimburse me?