Country House, Paragraph 79
The 300m2 scheme, which is our first Paragraph 79 (formerly Paragraph 55) house (NPPF), sits in the South Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has been designed to link the building to the surrounding landscape. The clients called for a home for two people, but which would be large enough for visiting family and friends.
- Location: South Downs National Park
- Cost: £2,500,000
- Designation: AONB, National Park, Conservation Area
- Collaborators: Professor Doug King; Hughes Planning; Eckersley O’ Callaghan; Terra Firma
- Image Credit: Darc Studio
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- Heating/Hot Water
Rain Water Harvest
Paragraph 79 is a very specific, highly challenging policy to meet, and reads:
'Very occasionally the exceptional quality and innovative nature of the design of a proposal, isolated new house may provide special justification for granting planning permission. [It] should be truly outstanding and ground-breaking, for example in its use of materials, methods of construction or its contribution to protecting and enhancing the environment, so helping to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas. The value of such a building will be found in its reflection of the highest standards in contemporary architecture, the significant enhancement of its immediate setting and its sensitivity to the defining characteristics of the local area'
Parsonage Barn is positioned within a unique Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The landscape is dominated by geology in the form of the South Downs Hills.
Many of the buildings surrounding the site have a strong physical connection to the geology of this area through their use of the vernacular building material, flint. They are formed from the very stuff of the earth, materials which have stood the test of time.
“Overall, the Panel felt that the proposal had passed the point of justification in relation to Paragraph 55. The architectural intent, its response to the setting and the construction and sustainability proposals together had the promise of an exemplary scheme designed for a very particular context. The Panel congratulated the team of the intellectual input, the sensitivity of approach and the compositional skill. The Panel believed this was an exceptional proposal worthy of an approval within the definition of paragraph 55…"
. . . South Downs Review Panel . . .
We question. We question our clients, the site, the design, we question techniques, materials and collaborators. By constantly questioning we are always learning and improving, pushing our designs forward. We are architectural storytellers and it is essential to us that every project has a different storyline that is unique and considerate of the people and place.
The proposed design was not arrived at through the typical and established way of creating a house. Working with Professor Doug King, Eckersley O’ Callaghan, Terra Firma and Rob Hughes, it was a true inter-disciplinary collaboration between the study of structure, environment, landscape and architecture, working together to meet an identified need.
As our clients approach retirement they identified that their living requirements were changing – they the wished for a home in which they could live comfortably and sustainably for the next 20-30 years. The architectural design is innovative - a direct response to the landscape in which it is sited, not only in form, but in the interpretation and display of the vernacular language of the area, realised through a contemporary architectural proposal.
The locally available materials and traditional construction methods of East Meon have been the starting point for many design decisions, including as to what this home is crafted from. The result is dwelling created though a collaborative process with a unique architectural and structural form that enhances its setting and achieves a harmony with nature.
The home is designed to be zero carbon in use and will be built using low embodied carbon building materials and construction methods.
. . . The Architect’s Journal . . .