Project Categories House

Firs Field

A rendered view of the south-west elevation from the adjacent agricultural field
Rendered view of the south-west elevation from the adjacent field

Firs Field is a new-build three-bedroom private home in Warwickshire, designed to fit in with its context of agricultural buildings and barns, pitched rooves and corrugated fibre-cement cladding.

The house is divided into two volumes running north-west to south-east, with the living areas facing the south-west enjoying sunlight and views over the neighbouring field, and the bedroom areas located on the darker and cooler north-east side. The building is positioned so as to form two distinctive gardens, with the north garden providing a connection to the wider part of the adjacent field and the southern garden framed with the separate garage and storage building.

The rural nature of the site means the house needs to be as off-grid as possible. For this energy efficiency is key and it has been designed to Passivhaus standards, producing a building with exceptional thermal performance and airtightness which requires little additional energy for heating. On-site renewable power generation will be utilised to further reduce the need for a mains electricity connection or oil-based hot water and heating.

Mountain Fold were appointed by architects Blee Halligan as Passivhaus consultants up to the planning submission, and appointed directly by the client as architects for the technical design and construction stages. Planning permission was granted in July 2020, and the detail design is currently underway.

Rendered night-time image of the exterior
Rendered night-time image of the exterior
Rendered image of the south-east elevations
Rendered image of the south-east elevations

The Beeches

A computer-rendered view of the approach to the house
A computer-rendered view of the approach to the house

The Beeches is a design for a new-build sustainable home, so named for the beautiful copse of beech trees in the middle of the 0.26 ha / 0.65 acre South Oxfordshire site. Mountain Fold were engaged as the architect to design the scheme in preparation for a pre-planning application submission.

The design flips the traditional house layout, with the living areas on the upper floor directly addressing the tree canopy. The master bedroom is also located up here, with two further bedrooms on the ground floor. Much of the ground floor is able to be locked off allowing separate occupation, for relatives or rental. The building is based on a simple, traditional barn form, with a cut-away to the upper floor forming a balcony to the living room. It is externally clad with vertical timber to the first floor and roof, and board-on-board cladding bringing texture to the ground floor. The cut-away is clad in contrasting aluminium. It is intended to be both energy efficient and incorporate numerous sustainable technologies, including a ground source heat pump, rainwater harvesting and photovoltaics.

A more detailed view of the timber cladding. The different types articulate each floor, bringing texture and life to the facade as the light changes
A more detailed view of the timber cladding. The different types articulate each floor, bringing texture and life to the facade as the light changes
Computer render showing the rear of The Beeches and the first floor terrace overlooking the trees in the centre of the site
Computer render showing the rear of The Beeches and the first floor terrace overlooking the trees in the centre of the site
Computer render illustrating the first floor open plan living areas, with exposed cross-laminated timber (CLT) ceilings
Computer render illustrating the first floor open plan living areas, with exposed cross-laminated timber (CLT) ceilings
Detail view of the concept model
Detail view of the concept model
Concept sketch section
Concept sketch section

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