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Contents JUNE 2017
REGULARS 11 13
EDITOR’S LETTER KEVIN McCLOUD Our editorat-large reflects on the notions of space and light and how they’re utilised, as well as looking at homeowners’ needs and the impact of overpopulation on the countryside 194 INTERVIEW WITH Co-founder of Map, Jon Marshall, talks to GD about eschewing regular design practices to offer clients a fresh perspective
OFFERS & INFO 34 91 109 179 180 181
SUBSCRIBE & SAVE Get three issues for only £3 COMPETITION Win a £10k home entertainment system PROMOTION Save 20% on all tiles from Walls & Floors NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE The latest releases AS SEEN ON TV Top suppliers RESOURCE Key brands
NEWS 19 21 23
27 29 31 33
ARCHITECTURE A round-up of the latest build projects ECO What’s new in sustainable architecture DESIGN On-trend touches to add impact to a scheme, plus our guide to Clerkenwell Design Week KITCHEN Colourful cookers and bespoke accessories BATHROOM Stylish picks for your smallest room GARDEN Adorn your outdoor space with the season’s best TECHNOLOGY Labour-saving appliances and hi-tech locks
Digital edition DOWNLOAD THE APP FOR GD ON THE GO
SELF-BUILD HOLIDAY HOME Constructing a property on a Norfolk lake came with its hurdles, but the pros outweighed the cons WAREHOUSE CONVERSION Renovating this run-down building in Hackney called for an objective mindset to the plethora of obstacles LOW-COST ECO BUILD With only £35,000 to spend, an Isle of Skye project needed clever costing to conclude PREFAB NEW-BUILD This Surrey home combines environmental awareness with modern design traits TV SERIES SECRETS We return to East Sussex to catch up with Stephen and Anita Yeomans and their steelclad riverside property HISTORIC GEM How Jørn Utzon, creator of the Sydney Opera House, brought his elegant Scandinavian design to rural Hertfordshire
110 BRING THE OUTSIDE IN Link your kitchen with nature 114 OPEN HOUSE Room-length glass doors enhance space 118 GO GREEN IN THE BATHROOM Consider eco updates 122 ECO EN SUITE A brand-new green space 125 CREATIVE WAYS TO USE COLOUR Enliven your home with an on-trend palette 135 BUYER’S GUIDE: STAIRCASES Choose a style to suit your build 142 DON’T MOVE, IMPROVE Making the most of extra properties on your land 146 SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW A stable conversion has created a new home 149 BUYER’S GUIDE: POURED FLOORING The latest hard floor coverings 156 GRAND GUIDE TV designers share their build secrets 171 BUYER’S GUIDE: SOLAR ENERGY Eco-friendly power
p99 GETTING STARTED Our practical guide to building your own home n Choosing a plot n Finding the right architect n Planning your grand design n How to pay for your self-build n Clever ways to work out your budget n Essential advice from the experts n Money-saving tips n Project checklists n Key contacts
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 3
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Acting editor Amanda Cochrane Deputy editor Emily Seymour Features editor Seoana Sherry-Brennan Art editor Darren Heatley Designer Juliette Luton Acting senior sub editor Michaela Twite Editor-in-chief Lisa Allen Editor-at-large Kevin McCloud
SALES & PROMOTIONS Publishing director Justin Levett Commercial manager Tim Price Advertising manager Charlotte Jesson Display sales executive Lindsay Hudson Classified sales Ollie Eldridge PA to the publisher Sarah Dynan Publishing assistant Jenny Trigg Production director Tim Garwood Studio director Lee Moore Studio manager Elliott Prentice Design Jess Jilka, Kerry Thomas Production manager Nicola Merry Production assistant Laura Cope Chief executive officer Lee Newton
PR & MARKETING Circulation & marketing manager Mark Kenton Senior marketing executive Sarah Potter Marketing executive Rebecca Roe Marketing designer Chris Moore Marketing director Robert Nathan Website editor Charlotte Byrne Image researcher Kerry Garwood
Welcome We all crave light and space but that 62 desire is leading to a fast-changing agricultural landscape that’s increasingly troublesome for plants and animals, as discussed by Kevin McCloud in his column this month (p13). The installation of an eco-friendly bathroom using low-flow taps and grey-water harvesting (p118) will help redress the balance, plus save water and energy, and money in the long term. We visit some inspiring eco houses this issue – check out the home built for under £35,000 by Kate Prentice and Nick Middleton on the west coast of Skye (p62), and a stunning holiday home inspired by traditional boatsheds on the Norfolk Broads, designed by architect Paul Michell of Platform 5 Architects (p38). GD also revisits the Corten-clad home of Stephen Yeomans in Lewes, who is so bitten by the self-build bug that he’s in the process of building his next project (p87). And as the days get longer our thoughts turn to how we can successfully create a link between indoor and outdoor spaces (p110). If you’re craving extra room, using similar materials indoors and out can help to make a space feel lighter and brighter and bring the outside in.
SUBSCRIPTIONS Grand Designs Magazine is published 13 times per annum and will be delivered to your door. Phone 01293 312 154 to place your credit-card order, or email email@example.com. Annual subscription rate: UK £55.90. Europe £65. Rest of world £95. Printed by William Gibbons (williamgibbons.co.uk). All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Text and picture material is sent at the owner’s risk. All prices and information correct at time of going to press. Grand Designs Magazine is published by Media 10 in association with Channel 4 and Boundless. Grand Designs is a registered trademark of FremantleMedia. Based on the television programme Grand Designs produced by Boundless (part of FremantleMedia UK) for Channel 4. Licensed by FremantleMedia Enterprises (fremantlemedia.com). © 2017. ISSN 1742-0695
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granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 11
NEWS & VIEWS
Kevin McCLOUD Our editor-at-large considers our desire for light and space and the battle to access the green belt
below A wildflower meadow helps this steel and timberframed new-build in Somerset blend into the countryside
he idea of development remains an anathema to most Brits. We’re a nation of conservationists. We are also, in England, now the most populous country in Europe – with 395 people per square kilometre – and have always struggled to accommodate our population and our conservative, nature-loving instinct on the same island. That instinct is expressed in a sentimental attachment to natural beauty, to the poems of Wordsworth, the landscape of the National Trust and the green belts of land that are enshrined in planning law, acting as the restraining rings around the girth of our towns. And it is that instinct that led to the growth of ‘garden cities’ in the early 1900s and is now leading our government to build more garden villages, towns and cities. Exactly the same development as normal, we suspect, but with some more trees. But what bit of countryside are we aiming to reproduce? The naturalist Simon King gave a talk recently and said every time he looks at English countryside, he can only think of the sterility of the farm land, the paucity of species that live there and the way we employ fossil fuels and their products (diesel, plastics and chemicals) as the principle agents of control in what we mistakenly think of as a natural world. That description somewhat takes the shine off a pretty postcard of rolling fields and sheep. As the ecologists Dirk Maxeiner and Michael Miersch put it: ‘Plants and animals are conquering the cities
simply because the country is becoming an evermore inhospitable place for them. The vast agricultural landscapes of central Europe no longer provide them with space to live. The main problem is over-fertilised soils, only suitable for plants that can cope with high concentrations of nitrogen. One example of this is the dandelion, which has become the dominant flower in many areas. However, diversity – and this is the fundamental rule of ecology – only develops through scarcity. Farming is very different from how it used to be a hundred years ago. While biodiversity in settled areas is on the rise, it is diminishing in agricultural areas.’ And access for humans can be as scarce as it is for squirrels and lady’s smock. We feel we should enjoy the right to roam but, in truth, this is only possible in wildernesses – the national parks and mountains where someone’s livelihood is not dependent on a maximum acreage of crop being gathered in. In truth, the battle for ownership and control of the green belts was won a long time ago by agricultural businesses. We can look at it out of our car window as we drive past, which is about as much as is worth doing because the view is no less sterile than the experience of walking through it. And in health terms, possibly a lot safer. However, intimately and psychologically bound to that idea of the green belt is the idea of space. That somehow, as residents of highly dense urban environments or of
‘We demand spacious rooms with capacious windows’
14 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
space has brought us in the 20th century – the total reliance on the car and a breakdown in sense of neighbourhood and community being just two – it remains one of the great talismanic romantic notions of architecture. We still equate space and light with health, happiness and physical wellbeing. We demand spacious rooms with capacious windows to allow the healing light to variously flood, wash, pour, flush, inundate and scrub us clean. Space and light were two qualities the Romantics sought in their early 19th-century landscapes, then mercifully free of chemical drenching. An emerging generation seems only interested in the light of a screen’s dim glow and the virtual space behind it.
above Angus Thompson, the owner and landscape designer of this A-framed selfbuild project in Oxford, has transformed a brownfield site into a garden oasis
Gloucestershire TV house
Are you planning a grand design? TV’s Grand Designs is looking for exciting projects to feature on the programme. Does your build fit the bill? To apply, please visit granddesigns.tv/apply
PHOTOGRAPHY MARK BOLTON, ANTHONY COLEMAN, MATT CHISNALL
mind-numbingly repetitive suburbs we have the right to access, thanks to the car, a world of green fields, woods and blue sky in which our chests can expand and our souls can sing. Space has become a right, now. We each demand access to it as though it were as necessary as food or drink. Together with light, space has become the principle obsession of homeowners in the 21st century, part of the lexicon of modern builders, and for this we have to thank Le Corbusier who did, indeed, assert light and space as essential as food and drink. Meanwhile in America, space has throughout the 20th century represented an objective to conquer, whether it was the race to outer space or the open terrestrial tracts of the vast country. Unhampered by lack of land and the concomitant planning restrictions it brings, American developers could jump on the road bandwagon thanks to extraordinary large-scale infrastructure schemes put in by the likes of Robert Moses in New York in the 1920s and 1930s. That saw the creation and expansion of suburbs set dozens of miles from the centre of Manhattan, made possible by car use. In Los Angeles, which in 1915 already had a sophisticated electric rail network and one car for every eight residents (the average being one car for every 43 people) the roadway was paved for massive suburbanisation through the sleepy villages and orange groves of the surrounding countryside. As the eminent planner Peter Hall put it: ‘Los Angeles was a rehearsal, a laboratory, for the late 20th century urban future. Before 1914, developers would rarely dare to build houses more than four blocks away from a streetcar line, but by the 1920s, new housing was being built in the interstitial areas, inaccessible by rail. They now spread more than 30 miles from the centre of the city.’ Space was no longer unobtainable for the city dweller. It wasn’t just a psychological idea – it became a reality for every homeowner. And despite the problems that
Building or Renovating? Learn how to create your dream home in just one day
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ARCHITECTURE ECO DESIGN KITCHEN BATHROOM GARDEN TECHNOLOGY
NEWS Inspiring ideas, innovative products and on-trend solutions for your home Dark magic
WORDS EMILY SEYMOUR PHOTOGRAPHY PETER CLARKE
For this renovation project in Melbourne by Branch Studio Architects (branchstudioarchitects.com), the brief was to bring a house built in 1968 into the 21st century, while remaining faithful to its original design vision. While the rest of the home is bright and light-filled, itâ€™s this striking en-suite bathroom that draws attention. The bath, basin and vanity unit are made with concrete that was poured in-situ, framed by a half wall of marbled tiles laid in a hexagonal pattern. Black tiles above and black-stained herringbone flooring below add a striking contrast, for a sleek, moody feel.
ARCHITECTURE ECO DESIGN KITCHEN BATHROOM GARDEN TECHNOLOGY
Small space idea This two-bedroom house in Putney, London, is a clever concept for small plots. Designed by Giles & Pike Architects, it has been squeezed on to a 60sqm plot once occupied by a garage. To achieve space, a basement level for bathrooms and bedrooms was dug out, with living areas spread across the mezzanine and ground floor. The project cost £470,000. (020 7924 6257; gilespike.com)
WORDS SOPHIE VENING PHOTOGRAPHY MARTIN GARDNER; VICTORIA BAMFORTH; LOGAN MACDOUGALL POPE; MORLEY VON STERNBERG
The next big thing
AR Design Studio (01962 864 545; ardesignstudio.co.uk) was initially approached to extend an existing holiday home on the south coast, but when the dwelling was broken in half during a landslide, the brief changed dramatically. Instead, the firm came up with a design for a new 180sqm house, built on a concrete slab with a series of walls placed on top of it. A floating structural frame is then laid above, acting as an adjustable raft for future movement – an innovative solution for coastal schemes.
Collective self-build projects allow groups to create builds that would have been unaffordable when going it alone. This co-housing project in Clapham, London, started in 2011, when the owners of eight flats in a 1950s block clubbed together to buy the freehold from Wandsworth Council for £38,000. The group instructed Peter Barber Architects (020 7833 4499; peter barberarchitects.com) to redevelop the site to provide improved living, as well as an additional eight homes to help fund the £6 million project.
TEXTURED ADDITION If you want your extension to stand out, take inspiration from this London home. Built for a textile maker with a love of texture and colour, Pamphilon Architects’ brief was for something fun that offered additional space, while maintaining the Edwardian house’s character. The result is a timber-frame extension clad in red bricks laid in a Flemish bond design, with protruding headers to create a lacy brick pattern. The total cost was £110,000. (07967 011 124; pamphilonarchitects.com)
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 19
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ARCHITECTURE ECO DESIGN KITCHEN BATHROOM GARDEN TECHNOLOGY
Off-site construction With more self-builders looking to prefab housing manufacturers to achieve a stress-free build, new company nHouse could be ideal for your project. Designed by architect Richard Hywel Evans, the two-storey, threebedroom house is massproduced in four stages to minimise waste and keep costs as low as £190,000 for a complete home. Once on site, it can be ready for occupation in just three days. (0844 811 7570; the-nhouse.com)
Natalia Géci Troubled by the throw-away approach many of us have to buying furniture, Argentinian architect and designer Natalia Géci has created a portable furniture system, designed to last for life. The Lynko system, which starts from £500, can be conﬁgured in a vast number of ways, including as a wardrobe, bookshelves, a desk and kitchen surface. ‘We need to use our objects more eﬃciently,’ says Géci. (nataliageci.com)
BREATHE EASY If you’re looking to install a MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) system in your home, check out Envirovent’s Energisava 200, from £1,277 – a compact model that now comes with the company’s brand-new Myenvirovent smart home app. The app allows multiple users remote access to the unit, which means you can check air quality and adjust your system from anywhere in the house. You’ll also get notiﬁcations when you need to change the ﬁlters. (0345 272 7810; envirovent.com)
Artisan finishes We love the new Falseria collection of handwoven artisan fabric from A Rum Fellow, hand-woven by a Mayan cooperative in Central America. The fabric is 100 per cent cotton and naturally dyed, and it’s available in seven patterns in a range of colourways – pictured are curtains made with Ocosito in black, £195 per m. (020 8245 6779; arumfellow.com)
WORDS EMILY SEYMOUR
One to watch
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ARCHITECTURE ECO DESIGN KITCHEN BATHROOM GARDEN TECHNOLOGY
FEEL-GOOD FELT Roger Oates’ Tapis d’Avignon rugs are made from luxuriously thick felted wool that’s ultra-soft underfoot. Each one is made to order, so you can choose your own size, design (opt for a block colour, or a variety of striped and checkerboard patterns) and stitching detail. Pictured is a 2x2.6m rug in coral, pewter, buckskin, gris and silver with platinum stitching, £2,007. (020 7351 2288; rogeroates.com)
A material difference The latest collection by Conran for Marks & Spencer features lighting and accessories in on-trend marble, brass and smoky-blue glass, plus the simple but sophisticated Clayton oak furniture range. Pictured are the Corin candelabra, £199, marble mirror, £99, Oversized Numbers print, £59, round vase, £35, Clayton sideboard, £799 and marble and brass lantern, £49.50. (0333 014 8000; marksandspencer.com)
This sculptural hexagonal Six tile replicates the subtle grain and fossil markings of limestone, in a hardwearing porcelain. It’s part of the Beren range by Living Ceramics, around £81.86 per sqm, which is now available from Domus. Use it to add a threedimensional textured edge to your living spaces. (020 7819 2300; domusgroup.com)
A CENTURY OF STYLE Curator Magnus Englund has created ‘the ultimate design edit’ for Heal’s: an exhibition of 100 of the most iconic products sold by the retailer in the past 100 years, including designs by Arne Jacobsen, Philippe Starck and Charles and Ray Eames. The pieces range from £7 to £14,000 and are on display at the Tottenham Court Road store from 8 May–8 June. (0333 212 1915; heals.com)
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WORDS EMILY BROOKS
om ER R .c T k IS U ee G YO w E n ECO DESIGN KITCHEN BATHROOM GARDEN TECHNOLOGY R RARCHITECTURE sig e FO ld
T E K C I Tl E Eenwe R Fclerk
CELEBRATE THE BEST OF
CLERKENWELL DESIGN WEEK
Here’s our exclusive round-up of the award-winning, three-day festival, taking place around the creative London district from 23-25 May
Head to Design Fields at Spa Fields, next to Exmouth Market, to discover pieces from worldrenowned furniture, lighting and product designers. The show will also feature a series of talks by key experts. Look out for GD favourite, Another Country (anothercountry. com), pictured, which will be launching a customisable desk system.
Set in the underground House of Detention, a former prison, Platform will focus on some of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming designers and makers. Come along Y R GLE D I N and meet carpentry specialist 84 Designs (84designs.co.uk), which LE specialises in tables, pictured; plus Belgian furniture maker Pinscher (pinscherfurniture. ST D R WA com), and many SE others. T
S K R M
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WORDS EMILY SEYMOUR
24 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Returning for the second time is British Collection, in the crypt of St James’ Church. There, you’ll find some of the UK’s best home-grown talent – don’t miss new furniture from MannMade London (mannmadelondon.com) and stylish modern kitchen cabinetry from Brixton-based Pluck (pluck.kitchen), pictured.
BR ITISH COLLEC TION
TR AL S
PL ATFOR M LN G
KENW ELL ROAD
D ROA ELL SW GO
T H AT
DESIGN F IELDS
ADDITIONS AND DETAIL
Spread across St John’s Square, Additions and Detail focus on BARBICAN accessories, textiles and small design pieces. At Additions, expect to see items that tap into upcoming interior trends, including Laura Springs’ graphic rug collection (floorstory.co.uk), pictured. Detail will host high-end brands such as Dedar (dedar.com).
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ARCHITECTURE ECO DESIGN KITCHEN BATHROOM GARDEN TECHNOLOGY
The natural look Introduce contemporary, modular style into your kitchen with Alno’s real wood veneer range, Alnostruct, combined with a deep smoky-grey stone-effect worktop for a smart finish. We love the way the Old Oak doors in smoke grey are sleek and modern, yet have a wonderful tactile finish with the knots and grains of genuine wood. The Old Oak range is also available in reddish brown. (0113 331 5100; alnokitchens.co.uk)
The new black If you want to make a style statement in the kitchen then look no further than Caple’s new chromite black Karns single lever tap, which is made from solid stainless steel. With its clean, pared-back lines, it adds instant design magic to any cool and modern space and works well teamed with a minimalist sink. Its ceramic valve controls water flow and temperature smoothly and precisely. Minimum water pressure is 0.5 bar pressure; height, 265mm; reach, 213mm. Starts at £220. (0117 938 1900; caple.co.uk)
WORDS AMANDA COCHRANE
BAKE OFF Create a dramatic and colourful focal point in the kitchen with one of the eye-catching products in Smeg’s new Portofino range cooker collection. Choose from eight colourful finishes – from a burnt orange to olive green and sunshine yellow (pictured) – that represent the shades of towns and villages along the Italian Riviera. Portofino is the brand’s most technically advanced range cooker yet, with five cooking levels, an A+ energy rating, a 126L capacity and three fans inside the main oven cavity. Prices from £2,399 for the gas hob version, and matching hood, £599. (0844 557 0070; smeguk.com)
Embrace organic textures with the tactile new Bridge Relief range by Gemini Tiles. Perfect for contemporary kitchens, they add instant warmth and texture to walls or floors, with distinctive ridged markings that have a look of timber cladding and architectural materials. Available in four shades to suit a wide range of schemes, they can also be paired with plain tiles in the collection. From £42.99 per sqm. (0800 014 2994; geminitiles.co.uk)
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 27
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ARCHITECTURE ECO DESIGN KITCHEN BATHROOM GARDEN TECHNOLOGY
FINE LINES We love the minimalist design of the new Edit basin mixers from Vado. Available in standard, extended or wall-mounted options, the handpolished, high-chrome finish co-ordinates perfectly with the Altitude concealed shower valves. The collection comes with a 12-year guarantee and starts at £229. (01934 744 466; vado.com)
Sliding doors The new sliding shower door enclosure, the latest addition to the Lumin8 range by Roman, has an ultra-smooth door that doesn’t open out into the room. It is 195cm tall, has a minimalist silver frame, and is available in six sizes, with prices starting at £621. It can be installed onto Roman’s low-level shower tray, from £216, or onto the floor using the Wet Room Shield System, from £314.51. (01325 311 318; roman-showers.com)
WORDS AMANDA COCHRANE
SHINE ON Add a touch of glamour and opulence to your bathroom with the new range of nickel-plated copper basins by Indigenous. Its high-sheen surface works well with raw natural finishes such as wood and stone, and it comes with a matching bath that slopes at either end. Measuring 360 x180mm, the nickel basin, £396, is also available in antique bronze, brass, tin and polished copper, and the nickelplated designs are durable and easy to keep clean. (01993 824 200; indigenous.co.uk)
Bathing beauty The cool and contemporary Eldon bath is the latest creation by luxury British bathing brand Victoria + Albert Baths, in collaboration with Conran and Partners. It combines a back-towall design with the curvaceous form of a freestanding bath, and has pipework cleverly concealed below a full-width tap desk. A
moulded tile upstand allows for tiles to be easily installed around the rim for a watertight seal. At 175cm long, Eldon is the perfect size for large or small bathrooms. It is made from Quarrycast, a resin and composite blend, so retains heat for longer and is also easy to clean. From £2,880. (01952 221 100; vandabaths.com)
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Design for life. The built-in Kitchen range from Miele. Endless combinations, intuitive operation and stunning performance â€“ these are the hallmarks of our next generation of cooking appliances. However you choose to combine them, they will fit seamlessly with your lifestyle. We call it Design for life. Experience it for yourself at one of our showrooms. Call 0330 160 6600
See us at Grand Designs Live, 29 Apr-7 May, EXCEL, Stand number K345-K440
ARCHITECTURE ECO DESIGN KITCHEN BATHROOM GARDEN TECHNOLOGY
Cooking with concrete Dutch outdoor kitchen brand WWOO is heading to the UK with its concrete modular design. Built in 1.5m widths, it oﬀers every al-fresco cook the freedom to customise their own design. The system, which includes a sink, barbecue, ﬁreplace and timber storage crates, comes with olivewood cutting boards to help soften the look. From £1,369. (wwoo.nl)
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GLOW? From opulent gold to warm copper, metallics are big news in interiors – a trend that has now migrated out to the garden. Bradstone’s Metallico concrete paving gives outdoor spaces a warm glow, thanks to its glimmering ﬁnish. Pictured are the Opal, Quartz and Umbra pavers, all £60-£70 per sqm. (01335 372 289; bradstone.com)
shade In punchy orange, the Sherlock wall light from French brand Nedgis, €199 (around £170), brings a cheerful air to a landscaping scheme. It’s also available in yellow, green and grey, and as an upright bollard version. (+33 7 8307 4980; nedgis.com)
Lounging around splayed steel legs. Optional backrests, cushions and marble tray-top can all be added to turn this chic design into the sofa pictured. £3,370, from Go Modern. (020 7731 9540; gomodern.co.uk)
WORDS EMILY SEYMOUR
Designer Lionel Doyen was inspired by the clean-lined aesthetics of Japan for his San outdoor seating. Made by Belgian brand Manutti, in its simplest form, San is a slatted iroko bench on
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 31
ARCHITECTURE ECO DESIGN KITCHEN BATHROOM GARDEN TECHNOLOGY
The next big thing
Smarter security The ENTR from Mul-T-Lock is the smartest and most versatile door lock we’ve seen on the market. It’s available in three formats: a pin-pad with up to 20 personal codes; a smartphonecontrolled Bluetooth lock or a biometric fingerprint recognition pad. It can be retrofitted and uses batteries for easy installation. Prices start from £234. (entrlock.com)
TOTAL CONTROL New British company Wondrwall has designed an intelligent light switch packed with 13 sensors, including temperature, humidity and motion. It also boasts connectivity with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and best of all Amazon Alexa’s voice-control systems, so you can tell it what to do from anywhere in the house. Get started with the easy-to-install base kit, £499, which includes an alarm siren, one light switch, two key fobs and a smart thermostat. It’s a simple way to control your home’s lighting, heating and security in one place. (wondrwall.co.uk)
WORDS CHRIS HASLAM
Vinyl sales hit a 25-year high in 2016, bringing new turntables to the market, with the best in traditional analogue and digital streaming tech. The Pro-Ject VT-E BT, £379 (henleydesigns.co.uk), above, has Bluetooth connectivity. The Sony HX500, £350 (sony.co.uk), below, connects to your computer and records your record collection in the finest possible hi-res music formats. The Flexson VinylPlay, £189 (flexson.com), connects to a Sonos multi-room speaker.
The new Active range from Velux is a prime example of smart technology in the home. Designed alongside Netatmo, the system gives you wireless smartphone control of Velux’s Integra automated windows so you can open and close them remotely. Most interestingly, the Active system will react to changing conditions – rain, heat, cooling and air quality – and open and close the windows automatically. The Integra range starts from £622.80. (velux.co.uk)
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 33
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COVER STORY SCANDI-STYLE LAKESIDE RETREAT
At a glance NAMES Patrick and Claire Michell AGES 39 and 38 LOCATION Norfolk PROPERTY Timber frame on a steel sub-frame BEDROOMS 3 BATHROOMS 2 PROJECT STARTED September 2014 PROJECT FINISHED May 2016 SIZE OF HOUSE 165sqm BUILD COST Â£3,500 per sqm (excluding landscaping)
Lakeside LIVING Architects Patrick and Claire Michell used their expert knowledge to design the perfect holiday retreat by a secluded lagoon in the Norfolk Broads
Homes Self-build holiday home The house had to be elevated to account for water level changes
40 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Homes Self-build holiday home
above Wall-towall glazing floods the living and dining areas with light left The picture windows and built-in bench seating were designed by Patrick
hen they decided to build a home for long weekends and summer holidays, Patrick and Claire Michell were looking for a selfbuild plot or renovation opportunity located within a couple of hours of London. Finally, they chose Norfolk. ‘Location played an important part in finding the right spot. We needed to be able to rent it as a holiday home to help fund the build project.’ It was July 2012 when Patrick and Claire, who have two children Rae, 4, and Margo, 2, first viewed the plot by a secluded lagoon in the Norfolk Broads. The couple, both architects, decided to visit the site after it failed to sell at auction and the owners dropped the asking price. ‘As soon as we arrived we were struck at how unusual and amazing the natural setting was,’ explains Patrick, a partner at Platform 5 Architects. ‘We envisioned how much fun we would have messing around on boats and canoes, exploring the area.’ The unattractive 1950s timber-frame bungalow was under water in the winter months and in very poor condition. The timber piles were rotten and the house was sinking into the ground. ‘It had been added to and butchered over the years,’ says Patrick. ‘I don’t think anyone nearby, and certainly not the planners, were too concerned about us knocking it down.’ Patrick drew up a design for a replacement three-bed house that was in keeping with traditional boat sheds and vernacular forms of the Norfolk Broads. He looked to local contemporary examples for inspiration, such as Hunsett Mill by Acme Architects, winner of the RIBA Manser Medal in 2010 for the best new house granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 41
Homes Self-build holiday home
‘We had to maintain the original property’s height at 1.5 storeys’ 42 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Homes Warehouse conversion
in the UK. As the property is in a flood zone, there were building restraints. ‘We weren’t allowed to increase the footprint because adding volume to the site would take up the flood plain water storage,’ explains Patrick. ‘We also had to maintain the original property’s height at 1.5 storeys, in keeping with the predominant property height within the conservation area.’ The solution was to raise the property off the ground and allow flood water to flow underneath it, by building pile foundations 10 metres deep and then forming a steel sub-frame on top, with the timber-frame house above. Access to the plot is narrow and vehicles were limited to carrying a maximum of 3.5 tonnes, which meant Patrick couldn’t consider a prefab timber frame. ‘We couldn’t bring a crane on site, so the frame had to be hand-built,’ he says. The house design was an arrangement of three low-rise bays, with pitched roofs that echo the working boat sheds typically found on the Broads. Thankfully, due to Patrick’s well-considered design, the planning application was approved within eight weeks under delegated powers in July 2013. ‘It was one of the most straightforward applications I’ve ever had,’ says Patrick. ‘We had to produce lots of additional drawings to satisfy the planners, but that’s how I like to approach design at Platform 5 Architects.’ When asked if he experienced any problems during
the build, Patrick replies that the main concerns were ‘watery’. A few setting-out issues at the beginning delayed the project by about three months. ‘The machinery that was used to knock down the bungalow actually compressed the peat soil, resulting in a site completely covered in water,’ says Patrick. ‘We didn’t have any clear reference points that we could use to set out the new house from. The contractors had to use GPS, which wasn’t accurate enough. So it was a case of piling and measuring repeatedly, until we got the foundations just right,’ says Patrick. ‘My motherin-law kept walking past my computer asking why I was looking at a screen of circles.’ Eventually, after a number of attempts, everything was in place and from there on the project was straightforward, with the house watertight by August 2015. The dwelling is finished in a mix of Western Red shingles and Western Red cedar tongue-and-groove cladding, and the roof is covered in black-stained Western Red cedar shingles. In line with Patrick and Claire’s desire for an eco-friendly home, the timberstud frame is filled with insulation, with an added layer installed on the walls inside the house, helping to exceed Building Regulations requirements by about 25 per cent. All the joints are taped and sealed to get the house airtight, which works well with the Mechanical
above Views out over the lagoon have been maximised with extensive double or triple glazing above left The fireplace acts as a divider in the living room. Clad in steel, the surround doubles up as a focal point and as storage Far left Naked Kitchens built the units using Patrick’s design. The cabinets are made from plywood, rather than particle board, providing a crafted feel
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 43
Homes Self-build holiday home
WORDS SOPHIE VENING PHOTOGRAPHY ALAN WILLIAMS
Sliding doors are used to separate the bedroom wing from the kitchen/dining and living space
Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) system. Triple glazing was added to the east, west and north sides of the house, and double glazing to the south, where the property benefits from solar gain. Solar panels and a wood-burning stove provide power and heat, and underfloor heating has been installed throughout and can be controlled via Wi-Fi. ‘It’s handy when we’re coming back and forth to the holiday let, or if we need to put it on for guests,’ says Patrick. The house is essentially made up of three boat shed forms, positioned alongside each other. Inside, a simple broken-plan arrangement allows for flexible living. The central bay contains a large kitchen and dining area, with masses of double glazing providing a cinematic widescreen view of the water. This space flows into the adjacent double-height living and relaxation zone, which echoes a boat shed in its volume. On the other side of the property is the residential wing, with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the ground floor, and a beautifully crafted spiral staircase leading up to a third bedroom and 44 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
en suite, as well as a study. This wing can be closed off via oversized sliding doors. ‘It means we can shut off the space once the children have gone to bed, and have a raucous meal without disturbing them,’ says Patrick. In May 2016, the house was ready for the family to start using as a home away from home. ‘We really enjoy the outdoor covered veranda off the kitchen/dining area. It’s where we spend most of the day. In the winter it’s cosy, and in the summer we throw open all the doors. It’s got a really nice holiday feel about it,’ says Patrick. ‘My favourite aspect of the house is its wonderful setting,’ he adds. ‘All year round there is always something going on in the lagoon; you’re surrounded by wildlife, so it can sometimes feel like a nature show. It feels secluded and it’s very relaxing,’ says Patrick. ‘You can while away the hours here.’ Backwater house is available for short holiday lets. Visit backwaternorfolk.co.uk for more details TURN TO NEXT PAGE FOR PROJECT INFORMATION
above Patrick designed an impressive spiral staircase in the entrance hall above right Glass doors in one of the bedrooms lead directly out onto the rear decking right The lowkey entrance to the house is clad in Western Red shingles
Homes Self-build holiday home
Project details Get the low-down on Patrick and Claire’s lakeside build SUPPLIERS NAME Patrick and Claire Michell AGES 39 and 38 LOCATION Norfolk PROPERTY Timber frame on
a steel sub-frame
BEDROOMS 3 BATHROOMS 2 PROJECT STARTED September 2014 PROJECT FINISHED May 2016 SIZE OF HOUSE 165sqm
THE BUDGET Build cost per sqm (excluding landscaping)
Architect Patrick Michell at Platform 5 Architects (020 7377 8885; platform5architects.com) Structural engineer Morph Structures (020 7415 7032; morphstructures.com) Main contractor Wroxham Builders (01603 782 931; wroxham-builders.co.uk) Quantity surveyor Richard Utting Associates (01603 611 281; richarduttingassociates.com) Building services engineers P3r Engineers (020 7490 7848; p3r-engineers. co.uk) Flood risk assessment Evans River and Coastal (07896 328 220; evansriversandcoastal.co.uk) Party wall surveyor David Bullen (01493 842 168; dbsurveyors.co.uk) Ecologist Wild Frontier Ecology (01328 864 633; wildfrontier-ecology.co.uk) Landscape and garden design Thomas Hoblyn (01359 252 056; thomashoblyn.com)
A WORD FROM THE ARCHITECT ‘Because there was a risk on site due to the waterside location, the builder refused to accept the damages clause, so we took it out of the contract. I then removed the builder’s ability to claim for loss and expense, which meant there was an equal balance of risk on both sides. Everyone, therefore, had the same incentive to just get on and complete the work as quickly as possible.’ Patrick Michell, Platform 5 Architects
Steel frame Newnham Structures (01692 402 563; newnhamandabel.co.uk) Spiral staircase EeStairs (01323 646 904; eestairs.co.uk) Structural glazing Maxlight (020 8896 0700; maxlight.co.uk) Triple glazed windows Velfac (01536 313 552; velfac.co.uk) Barn and entrance doors Acre Joinery (01603 412 123; acrejoinery.co.uk) Joinery Windboats (01603 782 236; windboats.co.uk) Sliding barn door Krownlab (+1 503 292 6998; krownlab.com) Decking Gripdeck (01206 242 494; gripdeck.co.uk)
FIXTURES & FITTINGS Kitchen Naked Kitchens (01328 838 854; nakedkitchens. com) Architectural and internal metalwork K Rackham & Son Engineering (01603 485 038; rackhamengineering. co.uk) Ironmongery Allgood (020 7387 9951; allgood. co.uk) Lighting Atrium (020 7681 9933; atrium.ltd.uk); Deltalight (0870 757 7087; deltalight.com/en); Tom Dixon (020 7400 0500; tomdixon.net); Collingwood (01604 495 151; collingwoodlighting.com/en); John Cullen Lighting (020 7371 9000; johncullenlighting.com) Fireplace Westfire (+45 7522 5352; westfire.dk) Tiles Solus (0121 753 0777; solusceramics.com) Worktops Silestone (01256 761 229; silestone.co.uk)
46 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
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Create an elegant feel with neutral tones and select pops of black
ROOM WITH A VIEW The bedroom walls follow the pitched shape of the roof, with a large window to make the most of the serene lake surroundings. By building a low shelf along the length of the wall, a window seat has been formed to enjoy the views in comfort. C&S Interiors can create a similar bespoke feature; contact its team for a quote. (020 7381 3163; candsinteriors.co.uk)
GET THE LOOK 1 Butterfly chair Iceland mariposa chair in wild black lambskin, £1,000, Bonet, Kurchan and Ferrari for Cuero at SCP (020 7739 1869; scp.co.uk) 2 Spot on Tripod metal spotlight lamp, £500, Artisanti (0345 259 1410; artisanti.com) 3 Geometric style Mirrored Hexagons sideboard, £1,695, Out There
Interiors (020 8099 7443; outthere interiors.com) 4 Monochrome comfort Alpha rug, £399, Furniture Village (0800 804 8879; furniturevillage.co.uk) 5 Modern dining Spyder wood dining table, from £3,779, Cattelan Italia at Fishpools (01992 636 465; fishpools.co.uk)
COMPILED BY KATY MCINTOSH
MATERIAL FOCUS Sunny shade Dhurrie fabric in sauterne, £27.20 per m, Scion (01274 588 079; scion. uk.com)
48 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Dark accents Basalt absolute matt emulsion paint, £42 for 2.5L, Little Greene (0845 880 5855; littlegreene. com)
Light touch Hampstead wood flooring in white oak, from £78.85 per sqm, Ecora (020 7148 5265; ecora. co.uk)
Creating a more comfortable home office.
Humanscale now available from amara.com
At a glance NAME James Davies LOCATION Hackney, east London PROPERTY TYPE Converted warehouse, dating from around 1890 BEDROOMS 2 BATHROOMS 2 PROJECT STARTED October 2015 PROJECT FINISHED October 2016 SIZE OF HOUSE 115sqm COST £350,000, including interior fit-out
Architect James Davies’ stunning warehouse conversion reimagines industrial space for modern living 50 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Homes Warehouse conversion
These two high-level windows are the only original examples in the property. The glazed double doors lead to the courtyard
Homes Warehouse conversion Maintaining the double-height volume played a key role in planning the layout of the converted space
The narrow windows are in keeping with the original building
he prospect of buying a derelict warehouse, nestled between a doctor’s surgery and a gated residential development just oﬀ a busy high street in Hackney, couldn’t have been more enticing for James Davies, the founding architect of new practice Paper House Project. His childhood had involved frequent visits to the regenerated Albert Docks in his parents’ hometown of Liverpool, and after qualifying he lived in a converted warehouse in New York, an experience that cemented his natural aﬃnity with industrial-style spaces. So when this plot came onto the market, he jumped at the chance. Despite his enthusiasm for the project, converting this run-down building into a home was fraught with complications, and it took all of James’ tenacity to overcome what for many people would have been insurmountable obstacles. ‘It was soul-destroying at times and I’m sure there were moments when other people would have given up,’ he admits, ‘but I’m passionate about giving buildings such as this a second life and knew that as long as I could get the go-ahead for the project, it could be transformed into a unique home.’ Originally for sale at auction as part of a larger lot, which also included the adjoining surgery, the warehouse had been empty for a considerable time. Landlocked inside a courtyard, there was no direct access to the site. ‘The ﬁrst time I went to look at the property I had to walk through the doctor’s surgery to reach the warehouse,’ recalls James. ‘It was completely overgrown and hadn’t been touched for decades. No-one seemed to know that it even existed, but I could see that it was an amazing ﬁnd.’ There ensued lengthy negotiations between James and the owner to split the title of the warehouse and surgery, enabling him to buy the warehouse as an individual granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 53
property. He also had to gain permission from the freeholder of the adjoining apartment block for a right of way across the residents’ car park, as well as approval to have services installed, involving digging a 90-metre service trench across the third-party land. ‘It took more than six months of negotiations, and even though I was spending money on legal fees there was no guarantee that I’d get all the necessary agreements in place,’ he says. ‘It was a gamble, but I was convinced it was achievable.’ In comparison to these negotiations, getting permission for the building’s change of use was fairly straightforward, and the local planning officer immediately got on board with James’ plans. ‘I wanted to retain the original footprint of the building and restore the brick exterior,’ he explains. ‘My proposal also included demolishing a single-storey extension that wasn’t originally part of the warehouse, and replacing it with an internal courtyard that would maximise natural light in each of the living spaces. Inside the building, the aim was to retain the double-height 54 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
volume wherever possible, even if it meant sacrificing additional bedrooms on the first floor to achieve this.’ Creating such a streamlined layout required structural interventions, so James worked with engineer Michael Humphreys to find the most effective way of hiding the necessary elements. ‘I was nervous because the building has a complex shell and core, so finding the right solution was key to achieving my open-plan vision,’ says James. The resulting design includes bespoke extended-leg steel trusses and cable rod supports designed to support the new slate roof. A high-level perimeter ring beam with concrete corner bonders holds the original brick envelope together while allowing large new window openings to be formed. To improve the building’s energy efficiency, the old concrete floor was broken up and used as aggregate for the new, heavily insulated structural floor slab. There’s also lightweight, superfoil wrap insulation in the roof, and rigid wall insulation has been fitted to the internal face of the exterior walls. The new window and door openings bring
above left The structural cable rods criss-cross the interior, tying the warehouse’s perimeter walls together above right The ground-floor layout includes a study with a fullheight window looking out to the courtyard right The white rendered finish and reclaimed granite setts for paving create a tranquil Japanese-inspired outdoor space
Homes Warehouse conversion
Homes Self-build holiday home
‘The house is exactly how I hoped it would be: a calm space tucked away from everything’
Homes Warehouse conversion
below A small extension to the warehouse was demolished to allow for a hidden courtyard at the property’s heart
vital light in, with gridded, steel-framed, double-glazed designs chosen for their industrial look. Conservation rooflights are a suitable choice for the Welsh slate roof. Walking up to the new entrance, the bank of glazed doors and tall windows offer enticing views of the modern interior. The incredible sense of space and light hits you as soon as you enter, with the double-height hallway leading to the main living area where James’ original vision for the property is revealed to maximum effect. Light pours into the room from the many rooflights, allowing you to appreciate the height and volume of the space. Polished concrete flooring unifies the open-plan layout, including a spacious living area at one end and a kitchen-diner overlooking the enclosed courtyard at the other. ‘An easy trick to make a space feel bigger is to create diagonal lines of sight, so I built a 3D model of the space to ensure I was happy with the layout,’ says James. ‘One of the best views is standing at the kitchen island as you get a panoramic view of the double-height space and the courtyard at the same time, which is how I imagined it.’ The combination of the exposed structural elements and the black cables for the pendant lights sets the tone for the modern industrial aesthetic of the interior. Utilising the original stepped profile of one of the exterior walls, the kitchen appears to have been carved into the space as the units sit flush with the wall above. Featuring a mix of
powder-coated doors, oak veneer units, Silestone worktops and a black marble splashback, it’s a carefully considered palette that adds richness and texture to the layout. A section of spruce panelling punctuates the white wall of the living area, forming the outer wall of the staircase leading up to the master bedroom and en suite bathroom. The slatted timber screen at the top of the staircase creates shadows on the wall and lets natural light into the stairwell. ‘I wanted to include materials that would break up the space,’ says James. With the staircase, en suite walls and bedroom floor finished in the same pale timber, there’s a visual connection between the first and second floors. Although James has invested so much of himself in this project, he points out that choosing the right project team was key to the success of the conversion. ‘Working with an outstanding group of people has allowed me to bring this forgotten historical building back to life,’ says James. ‘The quality of the contractor’s workmanship and attention to detail really shine through in the finished product. ‘The house is exactly how I hoped it would be: a calm space tucked away from everything,’ he adds. ‘This was such a passion project for me that living here feels like a dream. I keep expecting someone to come in and tell me to leave – I’m not going anywhere though.’ TURN TO NEXT PAGE FOR PROJECT DETAILS
WORDS BETH MURTON PHOTOGRAPHY RORY GARDINER
left Spruce wall panels and flooring add warmth and texture to the en suite, featuring a walk-in shower
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 57
Homes Warehouse conversion
Project details Find out more about James’ modern conversion SUPPLIERS
NAME James Davies LOCATION Hackney,
Architect Paper House Project (020 7923 1595; paperhouseproject.co.uk) Structural engineer Michael Humphreys (0117 929 7949; kb-2.co.uk) Contractor Hexagon Construction (020 7580 5966; hexagonconstruction.com)
PROPERTY Converted warehouse, dating from around 1890
BEDROOMS 2 BATHROOMS 2 PROJECT STARTED October 2015 PROJECT FINISHED October 2016 SIZE OF HOUSE 115sqm
STRUCTURE Polished concrete floor Lazenby (01935 700 306; lazenby.co.uk) Windows and doors West Leigh (020 7232 0030; west-leigh.co.uk) Underfloor heating Omnie (01392 363 605; omnie.co.uk)
THE BUDGET Total build cost including VAT and interior fit-out Cost per sqm
FIXTURES & FITTINGS Kitchen Hexagon Construction (as before) Worktops and splashback Roann (01924 834 111; roann.co.uk) Timber panelling and wood flooring Tintab (01273 515 155; tintab.com) Bathroom Reuter (reuter-shop.com) Wall tiles Topps Tiles (0800 783 6262; toppstiles.co.uk)
FURNITURE & ACCESSORIES Light fittings Lightsy (0800 634 9662; lightsy.co.uk); Modern Lighting Solutions (020 8123 7914; modern lightingsolutions.co.uk); Mr Resistor (020 8874 2234; mr-resistor.co.uk) Sofa Söderhamn by Ikea (020 3645 0015; ikea.co.uk) Chair Gamfratesi at Haus (020 8533 8024; hauslondon.com) Coffee table Forest London (020 7242 7370; forestlondon.com) Dining table and benches Made.com (0344 257 1888; made.com)
SPOTLIGHT ON BEDROOM
58 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Due to the open-plan layout, an automist fire protection system was fitted to meet building regulations standards. Heat sources over 70˚C activate sensors embedded in the wall, which project a mist towards the heat. It uses less water than sprinklers, resulting in reduced water damage. Automist Smartscan system by Plumis (020 7871 3899; plumis.co.uk); installed by Firefend (020 3691 0349; firefend.co.uk), £5,500.
MY SIGNATURE. BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED. ALFREDO HAEBERLI, DESIGNER
VISIONARY DESIGN, SUSTAINABILITY WITHOUT COMPROMISE. The perfect synthesis of innovative design and sustainability without compromise: this visionary pair of buildings by designer Alfredo Haeberli is a brave concept for how we might live in the future. See and feel it today. www.baufritz-gd.co.uk.
Baufritz UK Ltd. email@example.com 01223 235632
Homes Warehouse conversion
Cool tones and clean lines are key to achieving this contemporary look
PALE TIMBER Rustic finishes enhance the modern industrial style of this simple interior. Light wood board cladding in the en suite helps make the small space seem larger. It also creates a connection between the first and second floors, with the same material being used for the staircase and bedroom floor. For similar, try beech-effect furniture panels, £27.76 per sqm, Wickes (0330 123 4123; wickes.co.uk).
GET THE LOOK 1. Monochrome look TS coffee table, £579, Gamfratesi (020 7692 4001; madeindesign.co.uk) 2. Black beauty Nexus 20 pendant light in black, £120, Nordlux (01643 707 505; lightingcompany.co.uk) 3. Social space Bala table and benches, £499, Made.com
(0334 257 1888; made.com) 4. Contemporary wood Design Project chair in oak, £250, John Lewis (0345 604 9049; johnlewis.com) 5. Simple storage New Waverly stackable shoe rack, £58.99, Hallowood Furniture (0800 169 0423; wayfair.co.uk)
COMPILED BY KATY McINTOSH
MATERIAL FOCUS Stone effect Atlas gris lapatto floor tiles, £38.29 per sqm, Tile Giant (01782 597 777; tilegiant.co.uk)
60 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Neutral hue Cool grey carriage door matt paint, £25.49 for 2.5L, Crown Paints (0330 024 0281; crown paints.co.uk)
Natural finish Exterior plywood board, from £20 for 12mm-thick board, B&Q (0333 014 3098; diy.com)
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Homes Low-cost eco-build
At a glance NAMES Kate Prentice and Nick Middleton LOCATION Isle of Skye PROPERTY Self-build cabin BEDROOMS 1 BATHROOMS 1 SIZE OF HOUSE 30sqm BUILD COST Â£34,585 PROJECT STARTED May 2015 PROJECT FINISHED April 2016
Blue Skye THINKING With a build cost of under ÂŁ35,000, Kate Prentice and Nick Middleton saved money by having a hands-on approach to their build
The angled roof was designed to help the building disappear into the landscape
Artist Kate co-managed the project
ver the past eight years, Kate Prentice and Nick Middleton have created something of a unique island enclave on their croft on the west coast of Skye. They’ve gradually built a trio of contemporary houses, all designed by Skye-based practice Rural Design. These unique homes have involved an incremental approach to self-building – their first project was largely hands-off, while their latest undertaking, named Fiskavaig Studio, has been an ‘all hands on deck’ build. The result is a 30sqm, one-bedroom home that cost only a little over £34,000. The couple moved to the island in 2009, in a carpe diem moment precipitated by the completion of their holiday home, Hen House. ‘We loved it on Skye, so we just thought, “let’s do it”,’ says artist Kate, of the choice between staying put in their previous home in Leamington Spa or embracing what would be a radically different lifestyle of splendid isolation. The decision paid off, and Nick and Kate quickly fell for their new island home. However, as Hen House was designed as a holiday let, its spatial shortcomings soon led the couple to look at building a larger family home on their croft. This time they would be in-situ rather than supervising from afar, so their involvement in their second project, Black House, was much more pro-active. ‘Kate and I project managed Black House ourselves,’ says Nick, a part-time course director in media studies at Coventry University. ‘We organised all the contractors and materials, plus I took on some labouring. I only did simple jobs, but it gave me the opportunity to see what skills were involved. I’m fairly practical and I learned a lot helping to build our current home.’ Following this experience, the couple decided to build a third and final house on their plot. This time, they 64 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Homes Low-cost eco-build The timber frame was constructed on site, using cheap, structuralgrade wood
Homes Low-cost eco-build
The kitchen, together with the appliances cost just over ÂŁ700. 66 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
The monopitched roof creates the impression that the living room is bigger than it is
wanted a compact cabin that could serve as independent accommodation for guests, and as a possible holiday let, and they wanted to stretch their new-found self-build skills. ‘The Hen House had been very successful,’ says Nick, ‘so we knew there were people out there with an interest in renting modern, unusual houses. We find that a lot of visitors are looking to build something similar, and they come up to stay to see what it’s like to live in a house of this nature.’ The most important thing for the couple was ensuring that the house could be achieved without impacting on the other two properties on the site. ‘For many people looking to self-build, the biggest stumbling block is the cost of land. We didn’t have that problem as it’s within the boundaries of our plot,’ says Nick. The design itself emerged following discussions with architect Alan Dickson of Rural Design. ‘It was clear that Nick and Kate wanted something very simple,’ says Dickson. ‘I came back with a very basic sketch and they thought it was perfect straight away. Not every design is a eureka moment but that was,’ he explains. The planning application was just as smooth, and the paredback design was granted permission almost instantly. ‘It’s all about minimising the complicated junctions in the building,’ continues Dickson. ‘The bedroom at one end has a low ceiling, which gets higher until it culminates at the far end of the living area. The 90-degree-angled monopitch roof transforms the building, particularly when viewed from Nick and Kate’s house. This design element changes the building from looking like it sits on the landscape to looking as though
it’s part of the landscape, like a rocky outcrop. From a distance it’s hard to tell whether it’s a building or a rock.’ In the summer of 2015, Nick and builder Simon Bell went on site with the project. ‘We were excited by the small scale of the building,’ says Nick. ‘It’s designed to be easy enough to be built by two people on their own, using simple materials and on a small scale. Living on an island means you have to be pretty self-reliant. Plus, as I was going to build it myself, we could achieve this fairly cheaply. I was a free labourer.’ An early piece of precision engineering was key to the success of the design. ‘Getting the foundation piers in the right place was important for the rest of the build to follow,’ says Nick. ‘We went back to Roman techniques and Pythagorean theorem, measuring right angles at every corner with tape and string. It’s worked for thousands of years. We then checked the height of each pier with a very cheap laser level, and once this was done the rest of the build fitted easily into place. It was a nerve-racking moment – our measurements had to be right or else everything would have been thrown off.’ The timber frame was then constructed on site, using cheap, standard-size, structural-grade timbers. ‘We used the base foundation to make sure the frames were square. The frames took around three days to make and three days to put up,’ says Nick. The studio has plenty of insulation – essential for a wind-swept Scottish island. Externally, they went for polyurethane Celotex insulation boards; internally they chose Rockwool. Marley Eternit’s corrugated fibrecement sheeting, a cheap, long-lasting material typical granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 67
Nick and his builder constructed the cabin bed
‘We didn’t want to go for a glitzy, shiny feel. I wanted it to feel homely’
68 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Homes Low-cost eco-build of many farm buildings, has been used to clad the whole house. The dimensions of the building are designed to follow the sizes of the standard-issue panels, to avoid cutting and waste. Refined detailing and junctions with simple-yet-crisp finishes, such as the metal flashings, lend a subtle sophistication. The interiors, which Kate co-ordinated and sourced, reflect the utilitarian scheme of the exteriors. Mindful of their small budget, Kate kept the palette simple. ‘I’m a graphic designer so I was always taught to keep your materials to a minimum. We didn’t want to go for a glitzy, shiny feel. I wanted it to feel homely.’ As a result, walls of oriented-strand boards and plywood ceilings form the internal backdrop. Waxed larch floors reflect the rainscreen cladding, and the grey Cembrit fire-proof cement wall around the fireplace echoes the sheeting of the building’s envelope. Kate was keen to introduce bright splashes of colour in finishes such as the kitchen cupboards and light fittings. ‘This reflects the landscape around here. It’s very monotone most of the time, but then there are great
bursts of colour in the spring and summer when the gorse comes into flower,’ she says. Kate’s artwork also features on the walls. ‘Art is very important to me. I think real paintings make a space feel authentic.’ In terms of energy efficiency, the building is performing well. ‘We considered going off-grid,’ says Nick, ‘but normal services were more practical. We have mains water and a domestic electricity supply for a heated towel rail in the bathroom and a small panel heater. But the building is so well insulated and airtight, it never needs additional heating. It’s very cheap to run.’ The couple enjoyed the freedom the project allowed. ‘It’s probably the one we’ve enjoyed the most as it was manageable and didn’t cost a huge amount,’ says Kate. ‘It was pretty straightforward, too,’ adds Nick. ‘There was no drama. It all fitted together like a big Meccano set, though that’s not to say that it wasn’t hard work!’ The studio is available for holiday lets. For more information, as well as a build blog, visit fiskavaigstudio.co.uk TURN TO NEXT PAGE FOR PROJECT DETAILS
WORDS CAROLINE EDNIE PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID BARBOUR
The shower area is finished in Wetwall, which is cheaper and easier to install than tiles and doesn’t discolour
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 69
Homes Low-cost eco-build
Project details Find out more about Nick and Kate’s low-cost project SUPPLIERS
Names Kate Prentice and Nick Middleton Location Isle of Skye Property Self-build cabin Bedrooms 1 Bathrooms 1 Size of house 30sqm Build cost £34,585 Project started May 2015 Project finished April 2016
PROJECT TEAM Architect Alan Dickson at Rural Design (01478 613 379; ruraldesign.co.uk)
STRUCTURE Structural timber Caley Timber (01667 460 006; caleytimber.co.uk) Cladding Marley Eternit (01283 722 588; marleyeternit.co.uk) Flashings Neptune Fabrications (0141 427 1415; neptunefabrications.co.uk) Insulation Celotex (01473 822 093; celotex.co.uk); Rockwool (01656 868 400; rockwool.co.uk)
THE BUDGET Groundworks (foundations, concrete piers) Build to wind-and watertight Internal fit out and finish Total per square metre Total build cost
£8,713 £15,501 £10,371 £1,521 £34,585
FIXTURES & FITTINGS Windows Nordan (01506 433 173; nordan. co.uk) Compost toilet Littlehouse (0121 630 2337; littlehouse.co) Stove Charnwood (01983 537 777; charnwood.com) Cement sheet wall Cembrit (020 8320 1184; cembrit. co.uk) Shower wall Wetwall (01738 494 989; wetwall.com)
FURNITURE & ACCESSORIES Sofa and dining chairs Habitat (0344 499 4686; habitat.co.uk) Dining table Ikea (020 3645 0000; ikea.co.uk)
LIVING ROOM DECK
DECK DINING ROOM
FIBRE-CEMENT CLADDING BATHROOM
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Kate and Nick wanted their build to blend in with the local vernacular so they chose to clad their home in fibrecement sheeting from Marley Eternit, a firm favourite for the agricultural buildings nearby. It's a cheap option, starting from as little as £10.41 per sqm, and low maintenance, too, with a lifespan of at least 50 years. (01283 722 588; marleyeternit.co.uk)
LIVING WITH LIGHT Meet us for the Bi-Fold Door R.evolution at Grand Designs Live London 29.04. â€“ 07.05.2017 Stand B329
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Homes Low-cost eco-build
Kate and Nick’s style by using Style finder Imitate natural materials and bursts of yellow 1 2
SEAMLESS FLOW Grey Cembrit fireproof cement has been used on the wall around the fireplace, tying in with the sheeting of the building’s exterior. A vertical window, formed of one sheet of glass, offers views of the rugged landscape, further enhancing the connection between the house and its setting. Velfac offers a similar frame design. (01536 313 552; velfac.co.uk)
GET THE LOOK 1 Warm welcome Dante 5kW stove in ash grey enamel, £915, Carron (0161 439 9350; castrads.com) 2 Bright light Titan size 3 pendant in yellow, £395, Original BTC (020 7351 2130; originalbtc.com) 3 Right angles Strada countertop
washbasin, £136.57, Ideal Standard (01708 874 955; tapsempire.co.uk) 4 Clean lines Hal wood chair in white, £315, Vitra (0333 212 1915; heals.com) 5 Stylish sleep Kota two-seater sofa bed in charcoal, £395, Habitat (0344 499 4686; habitat.co.uk)
Rustic effect Bluff bark tree wood pattern vinyl embossed wallpaper, £15.49 per sqm, Muriva (0161 491 6400; iwant wallpaper.co.uk)
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Yellow pop Kitchen matt paint in sulphur springs 3, £27.98 for 2.5L, Dulux (0333 222 7171; dulux.co.uk)
Retro print Groovy vibes cotton fabric in berry, £8.06 per m, Art Gallery Fabrics (07460 313 777; patchwork dreamer.co.uk)
COMPILED BY KATY MCINTOSH
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Homes Prefab new-build Inspired by local black barns, the house has a steep pitched clay tile roof and is clad in Thermowood
74 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
At a glance NAMES Susie and Jim Duffy LOCATION Farnham, Surrey PROPERTY Prefabricated timber frame with brick and structurally insulated panels (SIPs) BEDROOMS 4 BATHROOMS 3 PROJECT STARTED June 2013 PROJECT FINISHED March 2016 ORIGINAL HOUSE SIZE 224sqm
An architectï¿½s dream Jim and Susie Duffy's prototype new-build home is modern in design and sympathetic to its rural location in Surrey
Homes Prefab new-build
rchitect Jim Duffy and his wife Susie had been thinking about a house project for years when the stars aligned in just the right way. Their children had moved out of their home in Surbiton, and slow trade in the aftermath of the recession meant that Jim was able to take a few months leave from his job as a partner at commercial firm ADD Architects. While they loved their family home, there were many things that they wanted to change about it. They considered a complete overhaul project, but after much discussion the couple decided it would be more cost-effective – and
more enjoyable – to sell up and start from scratch. ‘It’s an architect’s dream,’ says Jim. ‘I’ve designed so many buildings for other people; having one that you can keep all to yourself is very satisfying.’ They set about looking for a plot on which to self-build a brand-new home. The search was a slow process and it wasn’t until 2013, over two years later, that it finally took them to a plot in Farnham overlooking the Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). ‘Susie is a keen walker,’ says Jim, ‘and I wanted the new house to have a great view, so it is in the perfect location. We can walk
The laminated oak staircase is held in place by steel balustrades that are suspended from the oak frame
Homes Prefab new-build
above The handmade kitchen is finished in white Corian, with a walnut breakfast table integrated into the island unit right The rear wall is made up of fixed glazing and sliding doors, with aluminium frames to let in the light
straight out into the countryside with our dogs, and as the plot is on a hillside, the view from our terrace and balcony stretches for nine miles. It was worth the wait.’ As an experienced architect, Jim is no stranger to a construction site, but he quickly discovered that building your own home feels decidedly different from developing a commercial project. ‘It’s a far more emotional experience,’ he admits. ‘I was realising our dream, so I felt more excited than I had expected to when things went well. I also felt more pressure than I’m used to – I project-managed the build, so the buck stopped with me. There was no safety net to hide behind.’ Jim’s design ethos was inspired by a book he read many years ago, Charles Moore’s The Place of Houses. ‘Moore’s philosophy was that you should work backwards,’ Jim explains. ‘He said you should think about what you want to do in a house rather than what it will look like – imagine a moment that you will enjoy, and then create a space that allows that experience to happen. It has stuck with me ever since, and it’s what we have tried to achieve here.’ So what were the moments Jim and Susie were looking for? ‘It’s a cliché, but we wanted to feel
78 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
connected to the outdoors,’ he says. ‘The view is our favourite thing about the plot, so we wanted to be able to sit with friends on a summer evening and look out over the hills. Plus, we wanted to wake up with the sunrise.’ Jim didn’t want a completely upside-down house, so he put the kitchen, dining and living rooms downstairs, in a largely open-plan format, with four bedrooms at the four corners of the first floor. In the centre of that upstairs space he added a second living area, lovingly nicknamed ‘the gallery’, which takes full advantage of a huge wall of glazing. As he anticipated, it’s one of their favourite parts of the build. ‘The view from the seating up there is panoramic and we use it a lot. It’s where we relax in the evenings and take in the landscape, especially when we have friends over,’ he says. The Duffy’s new-build was a replacement dwelling for an existing home; as it is in an AONB, this meant that it couldn’t be any more than 10 per cent larger than the one it replaced. While he wanted it to look modern, Jim’s design is also sympathetic to its rural surroundings. He opted for a barn-inspired structure, with a steep pitched clay tile roof. As well as fitting in with the vernacular, this barn style worked well with Jim’s
â€˜We wanted to be able to sit with friends and look out over the hillsâ€™
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 79
above The firstfloor living space is Jim and Susie’s favourite place in which to relax above right Vaulted ceilings create doubleheight spaces throughout the first floor far right Sunlight streaming in through the fulllength window brings neutral finishes to life
vision. ‘I wanted the space to include double- and tripleheight voids, vaulted ceilings and a floating staircase. Barns have that sense of volume, so provided the ideal starting point for my design,’ he says. For a build system, he chose a laminated oak timber frame, stabilised by an internal L-shaped brick wall and surrounded by a SIP superstructure, following the advice of a trusted structural engineer. It’s an innovative method, and resulted in another of Jim’s favourite elements: smooth, uninterrupted, exposed beams running throughout the house. The extra support from the masonry and SIPs meant that the frame didn’t need steel joints – instead, it’s held together with traditional oak pegs. ‘It looks simple, but it’s actually a very careful design that combines traditional craft with clever engineering,’ he says. Plus, the frame and SIPs could all be manufactured off-site, which meant the house was quick to erect. The slowest stage was building the foundations, as the local soil has a high clay content; once they were in place the house was wind and watertight within a few short weeks. The only delay came when the black Thermowood cladding, chosen to give the house a more modern edge, was two weeks late
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to arrive on site. The setback cost the build team valuable time, which had a knock-on effect on the interior fit-out. ‘I have a lot more sympathy for the contractors I work with now,’ says Jim. ‘I used to get frustrated with delays, but I’ve seen how easy it is for one thing to go wrong. You try to line up a neat sequence of events, but it can all fall out of place so easily.’ Filling the house with daylight was essential to Jim and Susie’s design. Because the wall through the middle of the house gives the frame its support, the structure is able to incorporate an almost entirely glazed wall on the building’s south-east elevation, which floods the house with light. The glazing is very carefully angled. When the sun is high and hot in summer, light comes in indirectly, shaded by the balcony and brise-soleil to minimise glare and excess heat gain. In winter, the lower sun penetrates deep into the house so that it feels bright all year round. ‘Sometimes homes with glazed walls can actually feel darker inside, because your eyes are always adjusting to outdoor light levels,’ explains Jim. ‘We added a hidden strip of glazing to combat this. It runs all the way along the top of the roof, a central, flat rooflight tucked between the two sides.’ Along with full-length windows
WORDS EMILY SEYMOUR PHOTOGRAPHY JAMES MORRIS; KIM SAYER
Homes Prefab new-build
at the front of the house, this addition means that there are no shadowy areas, even at the heart of the property. Ever a businessman, Jim is so pleased with the results that he has decided to patent his design, under the name of Hart House. ‘It took a lot of time and effort to get this right,’ he says, ‘but now that it’s done, it’s easy to recreate.’ He has already completed another one nearby – it’s a scaled-down, single-storey version, but it uses the same basic floorplan and timber, brick and SIP combination. A third is on the way in Sussex, this time flipped to put the bedrooms on the ground floor and the living spaces upstairs. It’s a collaborative project with his original suppliers, Carpenter Oak and Glosford SIPs – a testament to how well the team worked together. ‘There’s not much that I’d want to change about our house now that it’s finished,’ says Jim, ‘but because I’ve done it before, I do know where the flaws are and where we can further improve the build process. It’s a very comfortable house with a great sense of wellbeing, and it feels like a home. Really, I just want to share that with other people,’ he concludes. TURN TO NEXT PAGE FOR PROJECT DETAILS granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 81
Homes Prefab new-build
Project details Find out more about Jim and Susie’s innovative new house FLOORPLAN N
Names Susie and Jim Duffy Location Farnham, Surrey Property Prefabricated timber-frame new-build with brick and SIPs Bedrooms 4 Bathrooms 3 Project started June 2013 Project finished March 2016 House size 224sqm
A WORD FROM THE ARCHITECT ‘Hart House is an efficient, liveable alternative to mainstream house designs. Flexible and easy to scale up or down, it’s suitable for all. It’s not a piece of art – it's just a straightforward architectural prototype that allows for refinement and development over time. After all, a house is just a background for human lives. To have a long future, it should be adaptable.’ Jim Duffy, ADD Architects
SUPPLIERS PROJECT TEAM Architect Jim Duffy at ADD Architects (01273 669 469; addarchitects.co.uk) Structural engineer Simon Ballantine at Ballantine Arnold (01548 559 031; ballantinearnold. co.uk) Energy consultant Derek White at Dynamic Energy Assessors (0800 090 1605; dynamicenergyassessors.co.uk)
STRUCTURE Laminated oak frame Carpenter Oak (01803 732 900; carpenteroak.com) SIPs Kingspan at Glosford SIPs (01432 842 999; glosfordsips.co.uk) Cladding Thermowood by SLP (+358 6267 2541; suomenlampopuu.com)
FIXTURES & FITTINGS Floating staircase Smet Stairs (+32 5661 3439; trappensmet.be) Kitchen Kraftwork (07899 846 301; kraftwork.co.uk) Sliding doors Fineline Aluminium (01934 429 922; finelinealuminium.co.uk) Windows Velfac (01536 313 552; velfac.co. uk) Wood-burning stove Stuv (stuv.com) Heat recovery ventilation Service Vent (01293 404 342; servicevent.co.uk); Ventaxia (0844 856 0590; vent-axia.com) Solar PV and hot-water system One Eco (01276 684 520; oneeco.ltd.uk) Bathrooms CP Hart (0345 873 1121; cphart.co.uk); Duravit (01908 286 680; duravit.co.uk) Wooden flooring Kahrs (kahrs. com) Floor tiles Mosa (mosa.com) Kitchen worktops Caesarstone (0800 158 8088; caesarstone.co. uk) Kitchen appliances Siemens (01276 696 000; siemens.co.uk)
82 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
van Ellen + Sheryn Architects
Since 1987, Carpenter Oak have pioneered the use of timber framed buildings. In our thirtieth year, weâ€™re still setting the standard for blending innovative design with traditional carpentry. From cabins and extensions to award winning homes and public buildings, including complete build solutions, we operate throughout the UK. Visit one of our show homes or get in touch to find out how we can help you create a unique space with a timber frame.
01803 732 900
Homes Prefab new-build
mix of natural materials and clean-cut Style finder Amodernity brings this house together
SLIDING POCKET DOORS The Duﬀys used oak doors on a sliding bracket to separate their kitchen and living areas. It recesses back into a pocket in the wall, so it's out of sight when not in use. It's a great solution if you're set on open-plan living but have sections that you wish to zone oﬀ from time to time. Try Eclisse for a similar system. (01476 565 497; eclisse.co.uk)
1 Chic glass Cluster circular coﬀee table, £314, Chelsom (0116 296 4432; furntastic.co.uk) 2 Statement lighting Chandelier 2097 in chrome, £1,191, Gino Sarfatti for Flos (0151 708 4192; utilitydesign.co.uk) 3 Soft stripes Rug stories rug in velour in brown, £68.99, Home & Haus (0800
169 0423; wayfair.co.uk) 4 Natural touch Sherwood coﬀee table, £449.95, Cousins Furniture (0845 901 4000; cousinsfurniture.co.uk) 5 Contemporary couch Oslo two-seater sofa in grey, £599, Dwell (0345 675 9090; dwell.co.uk)
Fake it Brick wallpaper in red, £11.50 per 10m roll, Albany (01323 430 886; wallpaper direct.com)
84 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Rich hue Rectory red modern emulsion paint, £43.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball (01202 876 141; farrow-ball.com)
Light oak Palazzo polar oak matt engineered wood ﬂooring, from £67.92 per sqm, Quick-Step (02830 250 477; quick-step.co.uk)
COMPILED BY KATY MCINTOSH
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TV series secrets Building a home in East Sussex was plain sailing for Stephen Yeomans. We caught up with him to see if the waters are still smooth
ave you made any alterations to the house?
‘Not really. The house was pretty much finished when filming ended, so all we’ve done since is buy some more furniture and dedicate some time to the garden. It was basically a building site out there, so we created three tiers, with a large sculpture in the top tier, and built up part of the wall using stone gabions.’ What was the trickiest part of the project?
‘It was actually just getting a phone line installed. For months we couldn’t contact anyone and weren’t able to get through to the provider. It was a nightmare. Build-wise, there was a delay with the delivery of the Corten steel, but our fantastic builder worked around that. He was able to alter the schedule of the build so that it wasn’t held up too much. Now, it is the defining feature of the house.’ In terms of the build, what was the most rewarding aspect?
‘I really enjoyed working with the team. There was a fantastic rapport between everyone
involved in the project – the builder, architect and carpenter have all gone on to work on other jobs together.’ What do you love most about the house?
‘My favourite thing about the house is the view over the river and the nature reserve opposite. The aspect from the ground floor across the water is what makes this house so special. We’re in a really unique position at the end of the river and subsequently have one of the best vantage points of it.’ What was the most valuable lesson you learned?
‘Work with people who you like, who have a passion for building and for doing the best possible job. I ensured that we had a really good structural engineer and project manager, who in turn recommended the builder and our joiner. It was a very collaborative process, and there seemed to be a real connection and friendship that developed on-site. This definitely paid off in terms of getting a highquality house that we love at the end of it.’
HOMEOWNER PROFILE WHO? Stephen and Anita Yeomans WHAT? Created a striking Corten steel-clad newbuild on the river WHERE? Lewes, East Sussex WHEN? Series 15, 2015
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 87
The ground ﬂoor is an expansive open-plan area
How did you go about selecting the project team?
‘I did some research and found the quantity surveyor, who’d worked on a similar project, and from him I found the rest of the team. I’d already worked with Sandy the architect on a previous project, and that’s how I found Peter the builder.’
‘Work with people who you like, who have a passion for building’
Is there anything you would do diﬀerently?
‘No, I don’t think so. We were obviously constrained by the limitations of the plot – as it’s quite narrow we could only build a house of a certain size – but I think within those restrictions, there isn’t anything that we would have done diﬀerently.’ Do you think you would attempt a similar project in the future?
WORDS SEOANA SHERRY-BRENNAN PHOTOGRAPHY MATT CHISNALL
‘We’re actually in the process of moving house. We’ve got another site on the other side of Lewes and I’ve already spoken to Sandy and Peter about getting involved. It’s a much larger plot, with existing planning permission for a 560sqm house, so it’s going to be a much bigger project. We want to do something radically diﬀerent from this house; what I’ve looked at so far is a much purer form.’ What advice would you give to people attempting their own self-build?
‘Spend as much time and eﬀort as you can in planning the build and in making sure you select the right people to work with. We could have rushed into it and ended up with a completely diﬀerent outcome. We were forced to spend a lot more time thinking about every detail of the build, partly because of the complications around the planning process and in being turned down by the local council, but this meant that we were absolutely certain about every element before we started.’ 88 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
The downstairs living area has stunning river views
The house has a separate study for Stephen
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granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 91
SCANDI in spirit Ahm House in leafy Hertfordshire is a great example of the work of Danish architect Jørn Utzon, creator of the Sydney Opera House
hen 23-year-old Dane, Povl Ahm, came to work for Ove Arup and Partners in 1949, little did he know the next 52 years of his life would be spent in Britain, establishing a distinguished career in structural engineering that would earn him a CBE. Ahm’s first job was working with Basil Spence on the new Coventry Cathedral, followed by conceptual design studies for the Sydney Opera House with fellow Dane and renowned architect Jørn Utzon. On both projects, Ahm and Utzon worked in tandem in a way that Ove Arup described as ‘total architecture’, where the engineer had input in every phase of the project. It was an approach that was to stand Ahm in good stead when he built his own family house soon after. In the late 1950s, Ahm and his wife Birgit purchased a building plot in the desirable West Common area of Harpenden, Hertfordshire. It was one of four designated areas earmarked for new housing in the 1951 Harpenden Development Plan, part of the post-war plan to provide new homes in Britain. The small country town had everything a young family could wish for – good schools, sports clubs, greens and commons, with fast train 92 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
connections into London and the brand-new M1 motorway, built in 1959. During their work on the Sydney Opera House, Ahm and Utzon had become friends as well as colleagues, and Utzon offered to sketch plans for a house on the Harpenden plot. Utzon created an L-shaped, split-level house that was simple in form yet elevated by fine detailing and materials. Within the design were echoes of Modernist architecture and Danish vernacular buildings – Utzon was very fond of traditional Danish farmsteads arranged around a courtyard for privacy and security. Armed with the plans, Ahm set about turning the concept into reality, overseeing every phase of the two-year project. The build was finished in 1962, and he and Birgit turned their attention to filling it with sleek Scandinavian furniture. As befits a private family residence, all that can be seen of the Ahm House from the roadside is a large carport with a copper-edged flat roof and a gated brick wall. It’s a taster of the elegant, exposed Aylesbury brick and pre-cast concrete construction beyond. Entry is through the carport via a spacious entrance hall, where the focus
Homes Historic gem
THE NORDIC GENIUS
Jørn Utzon Jørn Utzon was born in 1918 and grew up in Aalborg, Jutland where his father was a naval architect. He joined Gunnar Asplund’s practice in Stockholm after studying architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, absorbing the styles of both Nordic classicism and Modernism, working with Arne Jacobsen and Poul Henningsen.
above Pre-cast concrete beams and a ﬂat copper roof give the simple building a striking edge left Inside, the house has a zoned, openplan layout to make the most of the space
In 1949 he received a travel grant to visit the USA, Mexico and Paris, where he met leading architects of the day, including Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. A relative unknown, he won the competition to design the Sydney Opera House in 1957. His was one of 233 designs submitted from leading architects around the world. His shell-shaped roof set upon a rock-like red granite platform reﬂects the seascape of Sydney Harbour and took until 1973 to ﬁnish. Utzon’s highlights include the Danish housing developments Kingo and Fredensborg; Bagsværd Church near Copenhagen, and summer houses Can Lis and Can Feliz, both on Majorca. He received the international Pritzker Prize for services to architecture in 2003. He died in 2008.
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Homes Historic gem
‘Ahm House is of its time, yet somehow timeless’
WORDS CAROLINE WHEATER PHOTOGRAPHY THE MODERN HOUSE
Tables in the dining room and garden are positioned side by side to create an in-out feel
changes to the open-plan, south-facing living space with wrap-around views of the garden. The 10-metre-long living room, smaller dining room and neat kitchen all ﬂow into one another, divided by shallow steps and, in the case of the kitchen, elegant wood panelling. High ceilings crossed with concrete beams give the house the grandeur of a medieval manor, yet walls of windows, with integrated sliding doors, are unswervingly modern. Light ﬂoods in but glare is mitigated by light-absorbing teak window frames and Oregon pine cladding between the ceiling beams. Ahm made sure the rooms would have a cosy, homely ambience by installing a wet underﬂoor heating system and open ﬁre. Bright white Swedish Höganäs quarry ﬂoor tiles reﬂect light inside the house, and continue on to the outdoor terrace. Utzon also used Höganäs white ceramic tiles for the shell-shaped roofs of the Sydney Opera House. Ten years after moving in, the Ahms needed more room for their family, so a secondary wing was added. The extension was designed by architect Ulrik Plesner, who worked for Arup at the time. The Ahm family stayed in the house until 2007, when it was sold to building company boss John Shayer, who undertook sympathetic renovations and added a subterranean library area, linking the original house and the 1972 wing. John Allan, architect, author and specialist in 20thcentury design, sums up the appeal and importance of this special Grade-II listed home. ‘The hallmark of a master architect is an ability to work equally convincingly at major and minor scales. Everyone knows Utzon’s Sydney Opera House, but his domestic architecture was no less distinctive. Ahm House is beautifully settled in its site. The concrete structure might easily have become oppressive but the glazing makes it appear weightless. It’s of its time, yet somehow timeless.’ The Ahm House is on sale with The Modern House for £3.5million. (020 3795 5920; themodernhouse.com) 94 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Wood panelling, concrete and exposed Aylesbury brick give depth to the interior design
Kitchen storage is tucked into a long linking corridor, and beneﬁts from roof lights set into the concrete above
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WORDS AMANDA COCHRANE PHOTOGRAPHY FLAVIO CODDOU
Focal point A centrally placed chimney with a multi-functional wood stove played a vital role in Dekleva Gregoric Architects’ linear design of Chimney House in Logatec, Slovenia. Nominated for this year’s Architizer A+ Awards, it combines local craftsmanship with a nod to the local vernacular. The ingenious kitchen design includes integrated storage built into the envelope of the wall, opening out to an almost church-like dining space. Narrow windows mean the owners can enjoy the views without fear of being overlooked, while a continuous skylight along the double-pitched roof floods the building with light. (+386 1 430 5270; dekleva-gregoric.com)
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 97
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CHANGE OF USE This home by Patalab (020 7253 2036; patalab.com) was built on a brown-field plot that previously housed a mechanic’s garage and office
plots for sale around the UK
Western Isles, Scotland A desirable 720sqm plot in a quiet town, offering scenic sea views of Broadbay, £16,000, Plotfinder (plotfinder.net)
Shrewsbury, Shropshire 850sqm with outline planning consent for a detached four-bed house. Open to offers in the region of £139,000, Halls (01743 236 444; hallsgb.com)
Alston, Cumbria Development site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with permission for four semi-detached bungalows, £190,000, Pennine Ways (01434 381 808; pennine-ways.co.uk)
ESSENTIAL CONTACTS These agencies can help you discover your dream location: Plotfinder (plotfinder.net) Plotbrowser (plotbrowser.com) Plotsearch (plotsearch.co.uk) PrimeLocation (primelocation.com) Gumtree (gumtree.com)
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planning permission, and in these situations, you’re advised to steer well clear. If you find a space and are unsure of its potential, contact the local planning department. Check out the council’s land-use development plans online, which will indicate the classification of the site. Planning Portal (planningportal.co.uk) and your local authority’s website will offer unitary development plans, which provide guidance on local development, conservation, regeneration and improvement activity. Sometimes, however, less obvious routes can lead to a fruitful purchase. If you have your heart set on a particular location, keep an eye on regional newspapers as a plot of land might be listed locally and you could even snap up a bargain. And ask around – don’t be afraid to knock on doors, chat to locals and network like crazy, because a private sale could be your best chance of securing an affordable site. It’s equally good for the seller as it’s a welcome opportunity to avoid paying expensive agency fees. Searching for the ideal place is never going to be without its struggles, yet it could allow you to create something truly original. ‘Building your own home is cost-effective and it has eco credentials,’ says landscape designer Angus Thompson, who worked with friend and architect Phil Waind of Waind Gohil + Potter Architects (020 8735 5367; wgpa.co.uk) to build his timber-framed house on a tight spot close to the centre of Oxford. ‘If we had the chance to do it again we would jump at it. Designing spaces to suit your family’s needs is a real privilege.’ If you get fed up with searching, look closer to home. Do you have a large garden, an unused garage or even a disused commercial building? Subject to approval for change of use, this could provide the space to build your future dwelling. There are many advantages: you already own the land, you know your neighbours and you can keep an eye on the progress of the build from the comfort of your own house.
Choosing a plot Finding the perfect site is clearly key to a successful self-build, but it’s also likely to be the most difficult and stressful part of the process. Be wary of plots with planning permission close to expiry – even six months can be too short – as planning departments can take up to 12 weeks to consider applications. If preparatory work or investigations are needed, this could delay things substantially. Equally, if you’re a plot owner and you hope to sell your land some day, it’s crucial to keep the planning consent up to date. Bringing an architect on board early can be helpful when considering the purchase of a plot because they are trained to look for opportunities, assess building land for suitability and uncover potential pitfalls. It’s also worth remembering that a site that appears to be a bargain may be cheap for good reason, so be wary – it could leave you out of pocket. If you find the perfect plot and are haggling over price, bear in mind that the cost is dependent on the classification of the land (what it can be used for), location, size and potential. Unfortunately for self-builders, residential or housing sites are always going to be the most expensive. Agricultural or grazing land sells for a fraction of the price but sometimes it is misleadingly advertised as available with
Projects Self-build guide
Projects Self-build guide PLOT FINDER
Finding the right architect
DESIGN PLANNING FINANCING BUDGETING
It pays to employ a professional with the know-how to make your budget stretch further and add value to your home. And getting the right person on board from the start is crucial to the smooth running of your project. However, before you embark on finding your ideal architect or designer, your first step should be to collate your ideas – make a mood board from magazine images, scour websites such as Houzz and Pinterest, and establish a realistic budget and timescale. ‘This is your wish list for the project and should focus on what you want to achieve,’ says Rob Earl, RIBA’s client services manager (020 7580 5533; architecture.com). Next, draw up a brief and try to be as accurate as possible as your architect will need to have clear direction. Imagine how you will use the space now, but also think about your future needs. ‘A good architect will develop your requirements into a design that reflects your aspirations, and will provide you with a home that suits your lifestyle and improves your quality of life,’ says Earl. An architect’s fee may seem expensive but more often than not the expertise will outweigh the expense. A decent practitioner’s remit can range from sharing ideas at the outset and drawing pictures to expediting all regulatory requirements and project-managing the construction phase. Your best bet is to work out how you can make the most efficient use of an architect’s help; bear in mind that going solo can often be a false economy. If you need to raise funds, talk to your mortgage lender or secure a loan as early as possible, but always take advice when borrowing large sums – you can find a financial advisor at unbiased.co.uk Hiring a professional with the best skills for the job is key, as expertise in self-build projects and renovations will vary hugely from firm to firm. Talk to friends and neighbours about work they’ve had done, get recommendations and visit as many of the prospective architect’s projects as possible. Ask lots of questions, request client references and don’t be afraid to be a little pushy to get answers. Your dream house is a large investment, so you want to get it right from the start. If you’re not sure where to begin, kick off your search with one of the UK’s leading professional bodies. 100 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
MODERN UPDATE Tate Harmer Architects (020 7241 7481; tateharmer.com) updated this Arts and Crafts house to make it more eco-friendly without affecting its style
Q&A: DESIGN FACTORS Q What should be my key design considerations? The style of a house can depend on many things, one of which is the local vernacular – what are the other properties around you like? You don’t want your dream house to be a pastiche of these; one of the reasons people self-build is because they want to create something unique.
Q How do I ensure my design will get permission? Look at approved planning applications on your council website or drive around the area and keep a lookout for recently built extensions and houses. This will give you a strong indication of what plans have been approved. Stuart MacArthur, owner of Living Oak (01932 590 111; livingoak.co.uk)
USEFUL PROFESSIONAL BODIES British Institute of Interior Design has a useful directory of interior designers, as well as suppliers (020 7628 0255; biid.org.uk) Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists offers advice on the science of architecture, design and construction (020 7278 2206; ciat.org.uk) Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) will help you search for architects and suppliers, and hunt for
members with eco accreditation (0131 229 7545; rias.org.uk) The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings and lists more than 3,000 chartered architects, searchable by location and specialism (020 7580 5533; architecture.com/ findanarchitect) Royal Town Planning Institute offers advice to homeowners and architects on navigating the planning process (020 3122 0138; rtpiconsultants.co.uk)
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Projects Self-build guide PLOT FINDER DESIGN
DESIGN AND BUILD This WeberHaus home in Chipperfield came as a prefabricated package, and is finished with half timber-clad, half rendered external walls (weberhaus. co.uk)
Planning your grand design
There are two types of planning permission – outline and full. Outline means you can build on the plot in principle; full permission describes exactly what can be built. If you’re working on a listed building or in a conservation area, you’ll need to make an additional application to get consent. It can take up to eight weeks for the planning department to consider your application, and it also has the right to request longer. If your new-build has been refused, you can alter the proposal and resubmit it within 12 months for no extra charge. For changes to existing homes, such as extensions or loft conversions, you have 12 weeks to submit an appeal and the target period for a decision is eight weeks. If plans are approved you must start building within three years, otherwise the permission becomes invalid. Be sure to keep neighbours informed regarding your plans, and hire a chartered surveyor for any party wall issues.
The planning department in your local area is responsible for approving all submissions and will also be able to provide you with advice. Planning applications need to be accompanied by detailed drawings and information, plus a fee will need to be paid, which will vary depending on the complexity of the plan and where you live. Go to planningportal.co.uk for more information and a fee calculator.
Permitted development If you’re thinking about extending or developing your property, one of the most important things to know is that going through your local planning department will almost certainly delay your project and is rarely straightforward. Explore other options first and you may be able to achieve your goal within permitted development (PD), which allows you to make changes to your home without a planning application. There is a fixed cap on increasing the volume of your house, but in most
situations PD is the easiest way to extend or refurbish. There are still procedures to follow, Building Regulations you must adhere to and also exemptions, so ensure you familiarise yourself with the latest policies (gov.uk). PD applies only to houses, extensions to the rear of the building and loft conversions in some circumstances. Your extension should not take up more than 50 per cent of the land surrounding the original property. Remember that sheds and outbuildings count towards this percentage. The allowance takes into consideration any additions made since 1948. Conservation areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, World Heritage Sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are usually exempt from PD and rules apply to England only. Check with your local planning authority for more information. There are additional rules on side extensions, proximity to boundary, eaves and materials, so always check the full criteria at Planning Portal.
Q&A: PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS Q What should be my first step? Get your project off to a good start by making sure it fits within the overall planning framework stipulated by the relevant local authority. This is contained in a County Structure Plan, District Local Plan or a Unitary
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Development Plan, which your local authority will be able to give you access to and should be available to view on its website. Q In which instances do I need to gain consent from my neighbours? Under the 1996 Party Wall Act, you need to get your neighbours’
permission if you are carrying out work that is adjacent to a party wall, across a boundary line, or within 3m or 6m (depending on foundations) of their home. Geoff Crawford, partner at Witcher Crawford Architects (01962 813 344; witchercrawford.co.uk)
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PLOT FINDER DESIGN PLANNING
OLD MEETS NEW Konishi Gaffney’s angular extension to this listed building in Edinburgh cost its owners £76,590. (0131 555 4939; konishigaffney.com)
How to pay for your self-build
Securing the finances to construct your dream home is quite different from buying a house in the traditional way, in that you pay for custom-build projects in stages. It differs depending on your developer, but in most cases you’ll pay for the land, another payment when the foundations are finished, and then again when the walls and roof are up, and at other stages until the property is complete. Working to a fragmented schedule means you don’t need all the funds outright to consider a self-build project – a dozen or more lenders offer tailored mortgages to help finance properties built in this way. It may seem daunting but mortgage advice experts and companies, such as Mary Riley Custom Build Funding (01202 673 456; maryrileycustombuildfunding.co.uk) and BuildStore (0345 223 4888; buildstore.co.uk), can guide you through the self-build financing maze. When applying for a mortgage, proceed carefully, as too many credit searches can affect your rating. You can sign up to an agency, such as Experian or Equifax, that allows you to obtain your personal credit file in advance of contacting a specialist mortgage consultant or bank. Take your time and don’t jump at the first offer. Proceed only once you are comfortable with the lending terms and certain that the staged payments link in with your own cash and supplier payment terms. 104 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Q&A: FINANCE OPTIONS Q Can you explain how self-build mortgages work? Most lenders restrict the loan amount to 60 per cent of the final valuation and stipulate that it does not exceed 75 per cent of the total cost of the build and land. Finance is released at set stages during the build to ensure that you have the funds available for each phase of the project. Q How do I gain the most value
from my completed house? Generally speaking, building the largest possible house for the plot will give you the best return on investment. Before purchasing a plot, hire a RICS surveyor to look at the comparables and give you a price per square metre valuation for the house you’re proposing. Andrew Searchfield, CEO at Searchfield Homes (01252 781 607; searchfieldhomes.com)
FUNDING YOUR PROJECT Formulate a budget so you can provide details to the bank when applying for a self-build mortgage. Ensure any savings are easy to access. Make a plan to show a lender, including a projection of costs and planning permission details. All factors, including people and materials, will affect how much will be lent. Switch to a lower rate once the property is built. Initial mortgage rates are usually between four and six per cent, but it may be possible
to change this once the lender does a final valuation. Get an expert on board to determine what the best deposits, rates and terms are. Time your project around the payment schedule. Most lenders release the money in stages. It will either be an arrears-type mortgage, with payments given as each build stage is reached, or an advance one, where payments are released at the start of a phase. Some will want to inspect before signing off the next sum of money.
How to work out your budget PLANNING FINANCING BUDGETING
There is no such thing as an average project cost because issues such as ground conditions, access to the site, location and proximity of services all have an impact on the expenditure. BuildStore (0345 223 4888; buildstore. co.uk) has a handy calculator on its website that will give you an idea of the total cost of your self-build, plus a breakdown of sums required for kitchen, bathrooms, renewable energy and services. If you want to build an extension, a number of useful websites offer cost calculators based on your current home, location and the type of extension (try moneywise.co.uk and moneysaving expert.com). As a rule of thumb, expect to pay around £1,200 to £1,500 per sqm for a single-storey addition, and add an extra 50 per cent for a two-storey project.
Sticking to what you can afford Work out accurate calculations and you’re on the way to building your dream home.
A contingency of 10 to 20 per cent will act as a cushion against any unexpected costs. A 10 per cent contingency is generally recommended for a flat site where the ground conditions are known, and 20 per cent for a sloping plot or one where you’re not sure what may lie beneath the surface. A very rough guide is that one degree of incline costs an extra £1,000, so a 45° slope may give you fantastic views and easier drainage, but could mean an extra £45,000 in groundworks. The exact amount depends on a number of factors, including ground stability, the height of the water table and whether the spoil has to be taken to landfill. It’s essential that your builder fully understands exactly what you want from the outset, which is where an architect’s technical drawing is key. This allows the builder to assess the cost of materials – bricks, tiles, windows, stairs, doors, beams, lighting, sanitaryware, flooring – and come up with an accurate figure. It will reduce the chance of any nasty surprises, such as cost inflation or disappointment with the final result.
Q&A: MANAGING YOUR BUDGET Q What is the first step to setting a build budget? Always start with how much you have to spend, not the idea. Work out the maximum you can reasonably afford and stick to it. You need to be fiercely practical and willing to compromise on your dream home to meet realistic costs. Q Why do self-build projects often overspend? Changing the design after a quote has been agreed is the most
106 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
common issue. An accurate quote can only be provided for a detailed design, so it pays to spend the time at the initial planning stages to make sure you have thought through how you will use the space and where everything will be positioned. Changes can be made later but there may be extra costs involved. Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (0330 333 7777; fmb.org.uk)
‘Experience in the kind of work you’re looking to have done is absolutely vital, but it’s worth remembering that experience relies a lot on the quality of the builder’s colleagues,’ says Brian Berry, chief executive at the Federation of Master Builders (0330 333 7777; fmb.org.uk). ‘A builder will be working with their own team and possibly subcontractors as well, so you’re relying on their ability to pick the right people for the job. Good builders will have a solid mind for numbers, be excellent at managing people and, vitally, should be adept problem solvers.’
MONEY SAVING TIPS Source materials through your builder as you’ll benefit from trade accounts and it’s usually the most cost-effective method. If you are managing your own build, don’t be afraid to ask suppliers for trade discounts. If you have some flexibility, try one of the websites that aim to keep unused building materials out of skips, such as recipro-uk.com, buildtrade.co.uk and builders-surplus.co.uk – they all list available stock online. For £75 you can get reliable estimates for building services based on your drawings at estimators-online.com Reuse and reclaim as much as you can when clearing the site, as this saves on skip hire.
WORDS SEOANA SHERRY-BRENNAN
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he days when tiles were limited to the bathroom or kitchen are long forgotten. With hundreds of colours and designs to choose from, covering all the trends – from simple monochrome to leafy greens, cool metallics to industrial chic – tiles can transform your home and garden. WHAT’S ON TREND The natural look remains popular, but wood or stone can blow your budget. You can get the look at a fraction of the cost with Walls and Floors’ extensive selection of realistic wood-eﬀect and stone-eﬀect tiles. Made from durable porcelain, they’re zero maintenance, budgetfriendly and don’t mark as easily as natural materials. CREATE A FEATURE WALL Why not consider using tiles to create a feature wall? Think about adding some texture with slate split-face tiles, or create an eye-catching display with vintage-pattern tiles, hexagonal designs, copper colours or mosaics. With over 6,000 designs to choose from, plus free next-day delivery on orders over £99, free sample options and 0 per cent ﬁnance deals to help you cover the cost of your order, Walls and Floors has everything you need to transform your home or garden this season. Walls and Floors (01536 314 730, wallsandﬂoors.co.uk)
Find out more Simply visit wallsandﬂoors.co.uk/ granddesigns, follow the link and buy online using the code GRAND20 at checkout.
SUBWAY STYLING Make a statement using white brick tiles ﬁxed in a herringbone layout with charcoal grout
above Bastille white crackle metro wall tiles, £32.95 per sqm; rustic blue wood plank tiles, £19.95 per sqm right Pressed patina steel tiles, £29.95 per sqm
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 109
BRING THE OUTSIDE IN Embrace the summer in a kitchen that engages with your outdoor living space
hile all building layouts are different, the most popular place to locate a kitchen is on the ground floor. They usually look out on to outside space, but all too often they don’t make the most of this sun-filled spot. In the age of open-plan living, when kitchens and living rooms are being combined together, it’s the ideal time to reconsider the relationship between your kitchen and garden. The British have always had a clear divide between the interior and the exterior. Although back doors are ajar and patio doors are open through the summer months, there is still a firm distinction between home and garden, often with small windows and thick, heavy doors in the way. For a brighter approach, turn your attention to continentalinspired kitchens that spill outside on to wide patios and under the
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shade of awnings, often becoming one of the most used places in a home. While UK weather may mean a Mediterranean terrace is an impractical dream, we can take inspiration in other ways. Adding expanses of glazing, including roof lights or bi-folding doors, incorporating natural materials, and carefully landscaping the garden to draw the eye outside will all help to create the same effect, even on grey days. In a set-up where inside and out are united, the garden has the potential to be a fundamental part of how kitchen spaces are used.
Adding value Crucially, making your kitchen feel brighter and more open is likely to increase your property’s value. ‘Bringing a sense of the outside into the kitchen can create the illusion of greater space,’ explains
Daniele Brutto, co-founder of Hub Kitchens. ‘This is an opportunity to increase the value of the humble kitchen simply by choosing to open it up and welcome in the great outdoors.’
Merge your materials Natural substances, such as stone and wood, will connect the interior with the exterior. For a distinct correlation between the garden and kitchen, use the same materials across both spaces. Try matching your cabinetry and outside decking, or drawing on nature to inspire your interior’s colour palette. Furniture that crosses the divide between inside and out must be suitable for all weather conditions. Solid-surface materials, such as Corian, Dekton or Hi-Macs, offer a clean, modern aesthetic while also having the benefit of being non-porous,
WOOD EFFECT Rotpunkt’s faux timber finishes in iron-blue steel and leaf euca mocca give this G78-E handleless kitchen a natural edge. From £15,000. (rotpunktuk.com)
OPEN DOORS Large bi-folding doors provide stunning views, as well as creating additional space. Skylights above the island bring in extra sunlight. Kitchens from Roundhouse start from £35,000. (020 7297 6220; roundhouse design.com)
SKY GLAZING A glazed roof brings an abundance of natural light into this contemporary kitchen by Day True. Minimal framing on the windows aids the flow of light and air. From £35,000. (020 7788 9229; daytrue.com)
IN FOCUS Unifying spaces Using the same materials in two areas will help to diminish any boundaries and create the look of a unified space. This can work for your kitchen and living room as well as your kitchen and garden. Large stone or porcelain tiles are a popular floor
choice. Plus, anti-slip or waterproof surfaces can be applied to the outside, creating a continuous feel. For a subtle difference, consider wooden flooring to mirror timber decking; it will help bring the outside in while the wood will draw the eye through, creating a better connection with the garden.
COLOUR CONNECTION Accents of green have been used to link this Urban Interior kitchen with the garden. From £36,000. (020 7739 4644; urbaninterior.co.uk)
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Projects Kitchens and exceptionally durable, so they’re ideal for a kitchen and outdoor area.
Classy glass Bi-folding doors are a staple of contemporary design and a great way to provide access at the same time as flooding your home with natural light. Large or floor-to-ceiling windows can offer an increased view of your garden, helping to create the illusion of a single space, even while you are indoors. ‘Connect to your outdoor space with slim, low-profile frames and bulkheads to make the most of the view and encourage colours from the outside into the home,’ advises Brutto. A kitchen positioned in a single-storey part of your property will benefit from the presence of a glazed roof or skylights. The increased exposure to the outdoors will help draw in more natural light, while generating a deeper connection with the outside. If you are considering an extension, a side return will increase your floor space and, at the same time, provide additional glazing opportunities. If you are worried that the British weather might dampen the light in your space, consider opting for a subtle blue tint in your glazed roof or skylight. It won’t be immediately obvious
IN-OUT SURFACE Contemporary porcelain tiles add a modern twist to this scheme, inside and out. And they’re a cost-effective alternative to natural stone. They start from £54 per sqm at Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. (020 8993 5545; sacw.co.uk)
WORDS MATTHEW BLAIR
Plan the perfect layout
PICTURE PERFECT Floor-to-ceiling picture windows give the illusion of added space in this Xey kitchen. Prices start from £12,000. (xeyuk.com)
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but it will make sure that your kitchen feels bright all year round.
Consider the view Think about your kitchen layout carefully. The orientation of your cabinetry will have a direct impact on the relationship between indoors and out. If you plan to use your garden, especially for entertaining, creating a clear walkway between your kitchen’s entry points and your garden access will be crucial. The view on to the exterior will be all the more important when it comes time to sell, so always plan where the cook will stand to prepare food and think about their sight line outdoors. When it comes to designing your garden, imagine the area as another open-plan room in your home and compose its different elements the same way you would approach any
interior design challenge. Consider how the background, middle ground and foreground will look, encouraging the eye to travel cleanly through each of these zones. ‘Flooring is a great way to achieve a seamless link between inside and out,’ says Chris Grainger, managing director of Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. ‘Creating a continuous floor that flows from the kitchen into the garden will make the space seem much larger, even when the doors are closed, as the room appears to continue outside.’ For extra indulgence, consider outdoor heating solutions. Heating your garden with terrace heaters or a chiminea will help create the illusion that you are still inside, even when you’re surrounded by foliage. TURN TO NEXT PAGE FOR CASE STUDY
NEED TO KNOW Access to sunlight is the key to bringing the outside in. For additional light, try over-cabinet windows and skylights. Tall windows will offer heightened views of the treetops, helping to bring the outside in. Use the same flooring in the kitchen and patio. It will help blur the line from the inside to outside. If you plan to prepare and cook food outside, consider installing an outdoor sink for ease.
Roma Graphite island with Mirror plinth and White
Order a brochure or find your nearest Premier Partner at masterclasskitchens.co.uk 81 PREMIER PARTNERS ACROSS THE UK Abergavenny 01873 850911 | Abingdon 01235 554773 | Arundel 01243 696700 | Basingstoke 01256 810460 | Blackburn 01254 693765 | Bourne End 01628 528712 Bradford-On-Avon 01225 783118 | Brighton 01273 567200 | Bristol 01179 246002 | Bury 01204 772870 | Cambridge 01223 466634 | Cardiff (East) 02920 485888 Cardiff (West) 02920 593969 | Carmarthen 01267 220900 | Cheadle 0161 4866067 | Chelmsford 01245 392792 | Cheshunt 01992 620777 | Derby 01332 755434 Dorchester 01305 251587 | Dudley 01384 455755 | Dyffryn Ardudwy 01341 242015 | Eastbourne 01323 642075 | Eccleston (Chorley) 01257 806226 Esher 01372 467464 | Fakenham (Kingâ€™s Lynn) 01328 823111 | Fareham 01329 223406 | Fleetwood 01253 283786 | Folkestone 01303 647022 Gloucester 01452 310451 | Godalming 01483 424466 | Grimsby 01472 343853 | Harrogate 01423 862286 | Haverfordwest 01437 763623 Hay-on-Wye 01497 821374 | Hazlemere (Bucks) 01494 718585 | Henley-In-Arden 01789 488899 | Hereford 01432 262820 | Holsworthy (Devon) 01409 259090 Horley 01293 786116 | Ingatestone (Brentwood) 01277 350800 | Ipswich 01473 806461 | Jersey 01534 865750 | Leeds 01133 910179 | Leicester 01530 833960 Lichfield 01543 440020 | Lymington 01590 678767 | Manchester 0161 9623363 | March 01354 662000 | Nefyn 01758 721081 | Newport 01633 252187 Northallerton 01609 780289 | Norwich 01603 666161 | Perivale (W. London) 0208 616 2722 | Purbeck 01929 422345 | Retford 01777 707656 Ringwood 01425 484731 | Romsey 01794 338555 | Saffron Waldon 01799 583000 | Sailsbury 01722 328777 | Seaton (Devon) 01297 22559 | Sheffield 01246 416642 Sherborne 01935 817111 | St Asaph 01745 582786 | St Neots 01480 477336 | Stamford 01780 654321 | Stockport (New Mills) 01663 746851 Storrington 01903 741004 | Swansea 01792 790088 | Taunton 01823 256369 | Tring 01442 827997 | Uttoxeter 01889 565151 | Wadebridge 01208 813231 Warton (Preston) 01772 631316 | Waterlooville 02392 176380 | Wirral 0151 632 1670 | Wokingham 0118 9783393 | Wolverhampton 01902 710545 Worcester 01905 355408 | Workington 01900 61767 | Worthing 01903 201901 | York 01904 479792
AWARD WINNING KITCHENS
CASE STUDY PROJECT DETAILS Location Leicester Style of property Detached house Length of project Two months What they did A dining room and kitchen were
merged to create a large open-plan space. Bi-fold doors were added to link the garden area to the indoors. Size 30sqm Cost £45,000
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Open house A stunning full-length glazed wall has helped breathe new life into this home in Leicester
he owners of this detached property lived with a modest, traditional kitchen and dining room for years, but when the opportunity came to experiment with a new way of living, they decided to embrace an open-plan scheme that incorporated their garden as well. Access to outside and space to entertain were high on the owners’ wish list when they contacted interior architecture and design company, Day True, to transform the space. The company created an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area, bordered by floor-to-ceiling bifolding glass doors that run the
length of the room, bathing the space in natural light. Knocking down the interior wall separating the original kitchen and dining room created a generous space with room to install a modern bar-style kitchen that extends outside, with matching porcelain floor tiles leading out on to the patio to create a flow between the kitchen and the garden. The kitchen design is contemporary, featuring slim-handled cabinets and sleek, clean lines. A combination of matt lacquer door fronts, durable composite worktops and wood-effect doors give the room its stylish edge. Its considered layout makes for the
left Large format porcelain floor tiles continue from the interior to the exterior, connecting the two areas to create one unified space right The gas hob is situated on the island unit, allowing the cook to interact with guests while food is prepared
IDEA TO STEAL
WORDS MATTHEW BLAIR
Connect levels perfect place to host friends and family. As well as the dining area and island unit – flanked by stools – guests can spill out into the exterior space. The matching flooring connects the areas, making it feel as though they are part of one larger room. Due to the long, narrow shape of the newly opened kitchen-diner, Day True opted to use flat-panel storage. Integrated appliances continue the design’s contemporary aesthetic, while maximising on space. A gas hob was installed on the island, saving wall space for additional storage, while at the same time ensuring the cook is at the forefront of the action when it is time to entertain. A discreet downdraft extractor complements the hob, removing fumes without obscuring the view or interrupting the kitchen’s clean, sleek aesthetic. To further the connection between the open-plan interior and the
garden, the patio area was raised so it became level with the kitchen floor. This unassuming alteration goes a long way to helping to unite the spaces and draw attention away from the division between the areas. And, when the bi-folding doors are opened, there is little distinction between the zones. To continue the flow, the same porcelain floor tiles are used on the steps, which bring you to ground level. The remodel illustrates how properties can evolve to fit your needs as you grow. By knocking down a single wall, the kitchen has become the focal point of the house, yet its connection with the outside more than doubles its footprint, ensuring the owners will have room to host larger gatherings. For a couple who enjoy entertaining as much as they love their garden, it can only be described as a triumphant success.
above The contemporary units are complemented by statement pendant lighting to create a modern feel
below Bi-folding doors create a seamless link with the garden
Creating wide steps leading down to the garden will help to join it up with your interior floor and blur the divide between the kitchen and exterior; particularly if you are using the same surface across both areas. Speak with your flooring provider as they will often have economic solutions for achieving the look.
Can’t make the show? Call Douglas on 01732 459964 Email enquiry email@example.com Bespoke birch plywood kitchens
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from £12,000.00 www.koivu.co.uk
Delivering 40 years of expertise and modern approaches to design, the sleek Triflow Concepts range provides hot, cold and crystal clear filtered water straight from the tap. Featuring the world’s most advanced Swiss-made ceramic filter, the system reduces impurities including harmful bacteria to deliver clear and healthy drinking water for you and your family. Available in a variety of styles and finishes, the Triflow Concepts range is manufactured by hand in the UK for unrivalled reliability, quality and style perfectly complementing your kitchen.
TAP INTO A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE triflowconcepts.com 0800 999 3959
Inventors of the 3-way filtration system 29766 Triflow Consumer_Grand Designs_124x185.indd 1
CREATE A SEAMLESS FLOW BETWEEN INSIDE AND OUT Connect living and garden spaces with Valverdi’s Indoor-Out range Combine the durability of tiles with the look of wood with Westcott Bleached White tiles
nhance the ﬂow between your home and garden with Valverdi’s Indoor-Out range of premium porcelain tiles, designed to work in both areas. Open-plan living and large expanses of glass help to create connected spaces, but using a continuous material for both internal and external ﬂooring also makes the spaces feel much larger. Each of Valverdi’s standard 10mm tiles comes with a co-ordinating 20mm outdoor tile that has the same look and feel but that incorporates enhanced slip resistance and loadbearing capability. The indoor tiles look stylish in all projects – from kitchens to living spaces, dining areas and extensions – while the outdoor tiles are perfect for patios, terraces, balconies and around swimming pools.
Made from extremely strong vitriﬁed porcelain, the outdoor designs are double the thickness of a standard internal tile and completely frost-proof, which means they can withstand heavy garden furniture and all types of British weather. Available in a large range of sizes and ﬁnishes for both indoors and out – including wood, stone and concrete eﬀect – Valverdi Indoor-Out is the perfect choice for all styles of homes, from contemporary to traditional. The full Valverdi Indoor-Out range is available to purchase online at The London Tile Co (0333 320 8048; londontile.co.uk). Alternatively, visit one of the showrooms, where you’ll ﬁnd a large range of cut and full-size samples to help you complete your project.
The City Black range connects inside and out
Find out more For more details contact Valverdi on 0333 222 4024 or visit valverdi.co.uk
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Go green in the
Save money, water and energy with an eco-friendly and stylish bathroom design
ormerly the preserve of high-end bathrooms, innovations that make a design more efficient, better for the environment and possibly even a healthier choice, are now easier than ever to incorporate into your design. Creating an ecofriendly bathroom is also a great way to save money as you’ll cut water and energy bills. Even if you spend more initially, it’ll pay for itself in the long run. In an average household, bathroom usage constitutes about two-thirds of the water consumption, so reducing it will pay dividends.
Energy and watersaving measures Your choice of showers and taps can have a substantial impact on your water consumption, which also affects how much energy you spend heating 118 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
it. ‘Most standard showers have a flow rate of 13.5 litres per minute, while flow-regulated showers reduce this to around seven litres per minute,’ explains Lisa Ward, product group manager at Bristan (0330 026 6273; bristan.com). ‘Alternatively, some electric showers have an even lower flow rate than mixers and only heat the water that is used, preventing energy from being expelled unnecessarily. However, it’s a good idea to check what the flow is like before you buy – a reduced amount may mean that you have to spend twice as long to rinse shampoo out of your hair, defeating the object.’ Digital showers often feature low-flow or eco modes for optimised showering with less water and proximity sensors that reduce flow when you step away. ‘Look for
products listed under the WELL Water Efficiency Label, which have been tested to reduce water consumption,’ suggests Kelly Everest, marketing communications manager at Grohe (0871 200 3414; grohe.co.uk). ‘Another option is to choose a waterefficient showerhead. According to the Energy Saving Trust, by changing a showerhead, a family of four taking just under 20 showers a week can save around £80 a year on gas for water heating, as well as £120 on water bills.’ Similarly, low-flow and aerated basin taps reduce the amount of water consumed every time you use them. Aerators can sometimes be retrofitted, saving on the cost of buying a new model. ‘Aerated spouts mix air with water by breaking up flow into separate streams, without reducing the pressure,’ says George Poole,
Projects Bathrooms REUSE AND RECLAIM Engineered stone, which includes recycled materials, makes a smart choice for the bathroom. Sleek Concrete 4003, from £300 per sqm, Caesarstone (0800 158 8088; caesarstone.co.uk)
HEAT-REGULATING BLINDS Coated blinds reflect up to 78 per cent of external heat in summer and reduce heat loss in the cooler months by as much as 46 per cent. From £150 for a H60xW40cm blind, Duette (08000 663 662; duette.co.uk)
IN FOCUS Extraction Ventilation is important in every bathroom, so be sure to install an extractor to help get rid of moisture in the air. ‘Bathrooms are a prime location for allergens such as dust mites, mould and mildew to thrive, and this can cause health problems,’ explains Robert Shackle, quality assurance manager at Bathstore (0330 0535 661; bathstore.com). ‘An extractor fan will ensure minimum growth of these microbes and reduce condensation without losing heat,’ he continues. Look for low-energy fans that can run constantly at a reduced speed to ensure every drop of condensation is whisked away, such as Bisque’s Serenity extractor. This design costs less than 0.01p per day to run, yet is a great way of preventing damp (01276 605 800; bisque.co.uk).
LOW-COST LIGHTING LEDs are more efficient, brighter and longer lasting than halogen bulbs, so look for mirrors and cabinets with integrated LEDs. Illuminated mirrors, £259 each; Bayou freestanding bath, £1,599; Euro Trio close-coupled WC, £399, Bathstore (0330 0535661; bathstore.com)
Around a third of your home’s water is flushed away, so reducing how much your toilet requires for this process is a smart move. VitrA V-Care WC Essential uses less and also cleans itself after use. (01235 750 990; vitra.co.uk)
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Projects Bathrooms marketing manager at Bathrooms By Design (020 8619 0131; bathroomsbydesign.com). ‘You’ll save about half the amount of water flow compared to an open-flow spout.’ Motion-sensor taps can help save water, too, switching themselves off while you’re brushing your teeth or when you finish washing your hands. You can also find cool-start taps and those that give extra resistance to being turned on fully, to make the user aware of how much water is being used. A dual-flush WC is also a good buy. On average these use three litres for a reduced flush and six for a full one, compared with around 13 litres by older flushing systems.
Sustainable style Creating an eco-friendly bathroom isn’t just about how products function, it’s about how they’re made. For a truly green bathroom, look for sustainable or recycled surfaces and materials. Repurposed glass, for example, is easy to maintain and comes in a variety of colours, making it ideal for tiles and panels. ‘Natural materials, such as bamboo and wood, are popular choices for cabinets and fittings,’ says Dena Kirby, designer at Ripples (0800 107 0700; ripplesbathrooms.com). ‘Once the wood has been treated and cared for, it will last a long time and can be recycled. Veneer is more eco-friendly than solid hardwood as less wood is used, and most veneers are moulded in a kiln, reducing the amount of energy used during production.’ Other man-made materials can be good eco options, too. For example,
NEXT MONTH COMPOSITE CLADDING
Wet rooms and showers
Marble is a favourite on many bathroom wish lists but is high maintenance. Instead, consider a quartz composite such as Unique Calacatta technological quartz, from £400 per sqm, Compac (compac.es)
look for laminate flooring that’s formaldehyde-free, stone resin composite sanitaryware and ceramic tiles made with recycled materials. Many products, such as furniture, wallpaper and paint, will be labelled as no or low VOC, which means they’ll emit fewer volatile and potentially harmful organic compounds. These emissions can be produced for up to five years, so by opting for low VOC products, you’ll be improving the air quality in your bathroom.
Essential eco additions It’s important not to overlook the other elements that will help keep your bathroom eco-friendly. As well as good extraction, a dehumidifier will get rid of condensation, while a reliable heating source, such as a radiator or UFH, will help stop moisture settling on cold surfaces. By keeping your bathroom dry when
it’s not in use, you will prevent mouldy spots that can affect air quality. If you live in a hard-water area, you may find a water softener is a useful addition as it will cut down on the amount of anti-limescale products you need to use and ensure brassware continues to work efficiently. Natural daylight is the most ecofriendly lighting option but at night, LED lighting is a great energy-saving choice, both overhead and in cabinets. LEDs use between 50-90 per cent less energy than conventional lighting and have a longer lifespan, making them a smarter choice than halogen or fluorescent bulbs.
HARDWORKING WINDOWS Choose windows with condensation channels and ventilation in the frame for improved air circulation and to help eliminate damp. FTU-V P2 roof windows, from £201 each, Fakro (01283 554 755; fakro.co.uk)
TURN TO NEXT PAGE FOR CASE STUDY
Baths typically use 50 per cent more water than showers, so think about choosing a tub that maximises its volume by design and is made of a material that retains heat. With an existing bath, try filling it with less water – in most cases you don’t need to fill it to the brim to enjoy a relaxing soak. Some power showers use double the amount of water of an average bath, so look for
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alternative designs with a regulated flow. Don’t overlook the finishing touches. Check adhesives and grout for eco-friendly credentials. Keep your bathroom eco-friendly by using cleaning products that are free from petrochemicals and preservatives. Try natural solutions, such as baking soda and vinegar. Reusing grey water and water harvesting is good for the environment,
but best installed as part of a larger renovation rather than retrofitting. Seek advice from a specialist. Water bills still high? Check if there’s a leak. Monitor your water meter when nothing is in use – if it’s still running, there’s likely to be a hole in the system. A leak-detection system, such as Grohe’s new Sense Smart Sensor, monitors humidity and sends alerts to your smartphone.
WORDS RACHEL OGDEN
NEED TO KNOW
QUALITY BATHROOMS WITHOUT SPL A SHING OUT
CALL US ON 0345 862 2878
IDEAS & INSPIRATION
The wall-mounted basin taps are fitted with an aerator to help cut down on the amount of water used
The open-plan bedroom/bathroom has eco-friendly limebased paint with a polished plaster wall by Plush Interiors (0800 298 5197; plush-interiors.net)
WORDS RACHEL OGDEN PHOTOGRAPHY ALEXANDER JAMES; DAVID BUTLER
Location South-east London Style of property A new-build eco home What they did Created an ecofriendly bedroom/ bathroom
Cost Eco-friendly bathroom as part of a new-build home. Projects start from about £2,000 per sqm, E2 Architecture and Interiors (020 7183 2285; e2architecture.com)
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Eco en suite Harvested rainwater reduces the amount of waste water in this sustainable new-build
erhaps one of the biggest challenges when building an eco-friendly home is ensuring that the bathroom is as efficient as the rest of the property. It’s something that architect Sam Cooper, director of E2 Architecture and Interiors, prioritised when he began to design a new-build house for his parents, Caroline and Philip, to retire into. ‘The brief for the design was for a comfortable Modernist style with lots of natural light, open spaces, views and a strong relationship to the landscape and garden,’ Cooper recalls. ‘However, it was crucial for the brief to hit the highest levels of sustainability, too. We were keen for
the property to achieve level 5 on the Code for Sustainable Homes, meaning it would be net-zero carbon, and part of that would mean the water usage would be restricted to 80 litres per person per day. The average is 150 litres per person per day, so we had our work cut out for us in the bathroom.’ Caroline and Philip loved the idea of an open-plan master bedroomcum-bathroom with an adjoining dressing room. Cooper started the design by looking at ways he could minimise water usage. ‘To meet the stringent targets and still provide a generous bathing experience was tricky,’ he explains. ‘One of the
Projects Bathrooms A floor-to-ceiling glass door keeps the space light, while providing a view into a secret garden (sky-frame.com)
IDEA TO STEAL Low-energy wall lighting LED lighting doesn’t have to be limited to spots overhead. Try Leyton Lighting’s Timor LED bathroom wall lights for a softer ambience with energy efficiency, £67.99 each, My Green Lighting (01480 260 036; mygreenlighting.co.uk)
biggest consumers of water is flushing WCs, so we used harvested rainwater, which reduced the use of mains water. We then specified a low-flow showerhead that would still provide a good spray – we had to try quite a few out before finding one that worked well. We also specified a low-capacity freestanding bath that would give a good soak yet require less water to fill it. It’s located so it has a direct view into a secret garden through a glazed door.’ The house’s level 5 credentials also meant that the carbon produced over a year for lighting, heating and hot water would be offset by renewable and low-carbon technologies, meaning it was important to reduce the bathroom’s requirements for energy as well as water. ‘Hot water is provided from solar panels backed up by a ground source heat pump as the house is overshadowed by trees for half the day. This gives zero
or very low carbon heat,’ says Cooper. ‘The bathroom’s ventilation is then provided through a wholehouse ventilation system with heat recovery. The room’s lighting is all LED, while low-energy underfloor heating keeps it cosy.’ In addition to these features, subtle finishing touches add an extra layer of eco-friendliness. Full-height glass doors maximise the daylight that floods into the room, minimising the amount of time that lights need to be on, while a feature wall, which runs into the wet-room area of the shower, is in polished plaster, which is naturally waterproof. The house even has photovoltaic panels that provide its electricity, with the excess sold to the grid. A KNX home control system controls lighting, audio, security, roof lights and blinds, as well as monitoring the building’s energy usage to ensure that it
continues to perform as designed. Caroline and Philip were delighted with their new home and the smart eco features of the bathroom. ‘When I asked them if there was anything they’d change about the house, my mother couldn’t think of a thing,’ smiles Cooper.
below Philip and Caroline love their eco new-build
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01362 695 750
Frosted Window Film: Wallpaper Design II
Projects Design ideas GRAPHIC PASTELS Soft shades don’t need to be old-fashioned. For a modern interpretation, try the Caleidos hexagonal wall and floor porcelain tiles, available in five muted, Scandi hues. £40 per sqm, Undefasa. (undefasa.com)
CREATIVE WAYS TO USE COLOUR Tired of black and white? Try these bright ideas to give your decorating scheme a boost
eature walls have been a popular and straightforward way to introduce a splash of colour to a room for decades, allowing novice decorators to create a focal point with minimal effort. However, there are a host of other methods that will work different tones into your interiors – and many of these are suitable for both colour-lovers and colour-phobes alike, thanks to their subtlety. Be
imaginative with your next project to create a visual impact that brings energy into a room.
Play with patterns Consider using different shades and a variety of prints and motifs, all in one scheme. Bold, contrasting elements can create a one-of-a-kind feature that adds interest to your space. ‘Colour is exciting,’ says Judy Smith, colour consultant at Crown
(0330 024 0281; crownpaints. co.uk). ‘Infinite moods and atmospheres can be created by combining distinctive hues and patterns in various ways.’ When it comes to wallpaper, previous decorating rules have dictated that on no account should different patterns be mixed. However, current trends have seen a variety of clashing prints hung together, especially those
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FEELING BLUE Barker and Stonehouse has combined a variety of blue tones in different patterns, textures and finishes to create a bold scheme that’s not overwhelming. Home accessories from £4, Barker and Stonehouse. (0333 920 6259; barkerandstonehouse.co.uk)
featuring vibrant natural motifs, such as oversized blooms and jungle palms. ‘Our customers are becoming more adventurous with wallpapers, paints and fabrics,’ says Tony Berardis, home design stylist at John Lewis. ‘People are now thinking beyond the traditional feature wall and are considering bolder options to give their homes real personality.’ If striking stencils and opposing patterns really aren’t for you, but you still want to use colour cleverly, try mixing contrasting prints in the same tone for a more subtle finish. Blue is a versatile and calming hue that is ideal for this. Use darker versions to create an atmospheric space and brighter tints in smaller areas.
Unusual additions Flat colour can feel dull, particularly when covering a large surface area such as a wall. Textured papers are a useful way to add interest and depth – especially as, thanks to new technologies, it is now possible to replicate the look 126 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
PAINT SHAPES A colour block of red paint and recessed storage in shades of green add vibrancy to this small study nook, without overcrowding the space. Paint starts from £9.99 for 2.5L, Wickes. (0330 123 4123; wickes.co.uk)
Projects Design ideas
STYLE WITH STENCILS A teal wall is adorned with a patchwork of stencils to create a slightly distressed feel, inspired by Moroccan design. Paint in tropical ocean, plush parlour, fuchsia fizz, chartreuse mix and scrumptious, from £14 for 2.5L, Crown at Homebase. (0345 077 8888; homebase.co.uk)
GRAPHIC GLASS The Window Film Company uses the latest techniques to create full colour window graphics that bring glazing to life and transform how a space looks. From £30, The Window Film Company. (01494 857 704; window film.co.uk)
of almost any surface, from natural raw materials to computergenerated designs. With sugary-sweet tones such as pink and delicate baby blue, it’s very easy for pastels to become twee. Use these subtle hues in a more creative way to avoid making your room looking like a nursery, and formulate a scheme that is contemporary and clean instead.
Try adding geometric tiles in a variety of soft tones to your walls or floor in an otherwise monochrome or grey space, for a stylish modern take on pastels. Walls and floors are not the only places where you can be inventive with colour. Think about how you might use windows to introduce a different hue into your scheme. For example, coloured window film granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 127
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Projects Design ideas COLOUR BLOCK Geometric shapes and pops of green and yellow among blocks of grey and white offer a striking, contemporary look in this kitchen. Mobalpa melia in graphite gloss, white matt and Tallys soft lacquer green, from £8,000. (020 3697 3730; mobalpa.co.uk)
not only transforms glass panes into something you want to look at (as opposed to look through), it will change how your whole room looks – depending on the time of day and light levels – as it will bathe it in an ambient tonal glow.
Eye-catching brights In previous years, the standard approach was to add colour to an otherwise neutral palette in the
form of accessories or one contrasting wall. New designs and trends include techniques that achieve a bolder effect with paint, including random blocks of colour in quirky shapes. Rather than cover a whole wall, add a bright shade to just one section in a graphic shape or by masking off a diagonal area. ‘Wickes has a range of paint colours and decorating accessories to create these on-trend
effects,’ says Yvonne O’Brien, category manager for paint at Wickes. ‘FrogTape is ideal for achieving clean and defined block colours. It is treated with PaintBlock Technology and can be used on a variety of surfaces, to deliver sharp edges or create eye-catching waved lines between colours, to great effect.’ Even if you are unable to make dramatic changes to your granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 129
WORDS SEOANA SHERRY-BRENNAN
Projects Design ideas interiors, there are still ways to be creative. ‘Bright shades don’t have to be restricted to feature walls and décor,’ says Jonathan Warren, director at Time4Sleep (01484 500 560; time4sleep.co.uk). ‘You can transform your home with colourful statement accessories. For example, be bold and choose a brightly coloured bed to make a real impact.’ Ultimately, the call for colour is reflective of a desire to use our homes as an extension of our personality. ‘There has been a rise in zingy brights with a pop of originality,’ says Kasia Wiktorowicz at Valspar (0344 736 9174; valsparpaint.co.uk). ‘As a result of a broader acceptance of individuality, we’re beginning to turn to colour as a means of self-expression. Going forward, we’ll be seeing even more creative combinations with modern twists, in shades that are spirited, empowering and uplifting.’ CRYSTAL COLOURS Obsidian is a digital wallpaper panel, available in four colourways and enhanced by iridescent mica. Taken from an original ink and salt-printed fabric, it can be used in a range of settings. Priced at £225 per panel, Anthology. (0844 543 0100; anthology.uk.com)
SUBTLE STRIPES Instead of using an all-over colour on your floors, create interest underfoot with hints of a bright accent shade. Amtico has a range of coloured tiles from its signature range of flooring, priced from £70 per sqm. (0121 745 0800; amtico.com)
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It’s a mirror. It’s a TV. With MirrorTV you’ve got both at the touch of a button. With a choice of over 100 frames to suit any interior. All bathroom models come with MirrorClearTM Technology to keep them mist free. Available with 6.4” to 65” (as well as custom built sizes) with the latest Full HD LCD or LED screens. Contact us on +44 (0)870 3866333 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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Projects Buyer’s guide
Use the latest technology and innovative materials to turn simple steps into a statement feature
hile staircases are a necessary, functional element of an interior scheme, they can also be a striking addition to your space, serving as a beautiful piece of architecture. They are often the first thing you see upon opening the front door, so installing a new staircase is an opportunity to create a focal point that makes a lasting impression.
Custom designs Contemporary and traditional off-the-shelf staircases are widely available and a practical choice for tight budgets as it’s possible to get a complete set of stairs for just under £1,000. Going bespoke is more expensive, costing anywhere from £4,000 upwards, but it allows you to be more creative with the design and
materials, as well as maximising the flow of light through the stairwell. It could also be the only option for an awkward space. If you do want to custom-build, it is wise to tell your architect early on in your project. ‘I have visited many near-complete properties where the client wanted a feature staircase, but the architect hadn’t designed the space for it,’ says Adam Taylor, director at First Step Designs. ‘Retrofitting involves moving walls and electrics, incurring extra costs, which can be avoided if a staircase is planned for earlier on.’ You can commission a staircase that is in keeping with your home’s architectural style, but the period of your property doesn’t have to dictate the design. A contemporary option can complement a period setting
1 SPIRAL SPIN
2 STYLISH TIMBER
This spiralled staircase with glass balustrades is by Spiral UK staircases, and prices start from £7,000. (01480 301 102; spiral.uk.com)
A composite steel and plywood substructure that has been clad in American black walnut. £75,000, Fraher Architects. (020 8291 6947; fraher.co)
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Projects Buyer’s guide
3 and vice versa. For something unique, you may prefer to combine period and modern elements. If your property is listed, you will require listed building consent and may be required to select a design more in keeping with the home’s history, so make sure you find out what you’re allowed to do. Even if your home is not listed, any new staircase will have to comply with Building Regulations, which could limit your project. Most staircase designers and manufacturers use computer-aided design (CAD) technology, which offers possible configurations to meet requirements.
3 ZIG ZAG
The materials you choose for your staircase will also have an impact on its design. Stairs can be crafted from wood, stone, concrete, toughened glass or metal, or a mix of these. ‘Different surfaces will make a dramatic impact on the appearance of your hallway,’ says Paul Martin, group product marketing manager for Richard Burbidge (01691 678 300; richardburbidge.com). ‘Glass and metal accessories give a more contemporary finish to traditional oak staircases. These types of balustrading and spindles will open
Oak treads are paired with a glass balustrade. Bisca staircases start from around £22,000. (01439 7771 702; bisca. co.uk)
4 GOING PLACES Cherwell staircase in oak with glass spindles, from £2,000, Neville Johnson (0161 873 8333; nevillejohnson. co.uk)
up a dark area and improve the feeling of space in your hall.’ During the day, a glass structure looks most effective when positioned alongside a window, so sunlight can filter through. Bear in mind, though, that while a glass staircase will look striking when it’s first installed, finger prints and marks will show up on it, so if you’re not prepared to clean it often, another material will better suit, particularly if you have pets or young children. If your aim is to maximise light into your home but you want something lower-maintenance than glass, a high-shine surface such as
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Projects Buyer’s guide 5 STEPPING UP Create a striking entrance with a bespoke oak and glass staircase. Price on application, First Step Designs. (01782 959 300; firststepdesigns. com)
6 TAKING FLIGHT
Assembled on site, the Heritage Collection staircase cost around £3,000. (0114 247 4917; theheritage collection.co.uk)
Choose your steps Open risers are effective for increasing light levels and enhancing the feeling of space. While Building Regulations will ensure the spaces between each one is too small for a child to fall through, they’re not a practical option if you have a young family or small pets. A closed-in design makes the area beneath the stairs more functional; it can be turned into a hidden storage space with cupboard doors and drawers, or a striking open-shelf display. Spiral or helical stairs can look very stylish. They are particularly
useful where space is tight, but to fit them into small places it is often necessary to make the steps quite steep, which isn’t suitable for everyone. If you’ve got the space for it, a wider spiral staircase can dramatically change the architectural style of your home. Having each step gently curve over the next will ensure that your hallway makes quite an impression. Whatever style and design you opt for, the best position for a staircase is next to a window that straddles all floors. Surround it with a galleried landing and suspend a light fitting in the atrium above to make sure the light disperses throughout. If you want to increase the wow factor, use LED lighting to illuminate each step at night.
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NEED TO KNOW To comply with Building Regulations, the pitch of a residential staircase must be no more than 42 degrees. The rise of each stair must be between 15cm and 22cm and of equal height on a single flight of stairs, as uneven stairs can be a trip hazard and cause back problems. The depth of each stair must be at least 22cm.
On an open-riser staircase, the gap between each opening must not be greater than 10cm, for the safety of babies and young children. A continuous handrail is a requirement where three or more steps are present. Where there is a drop of more than 60cm, there must be a guardrail or bannister along the stairs and landing.
WORDS ANNA TOBIN
polished metal is a good alternative because it will help to bounce light around the room. If you’re looking for something sculptural, concrete or stone are perfect. Use stone for a traditional look; concrete has an edgier, industrial finish. These designs can be very expensive to install, however, and metal will offer a cheaper, more flexible alternative. Metal staircases, generally crafted out of steel, can be left raw or be powder-coated in a spectrum of different colours. Steel is also an easy material to curve, which explains why it’s popular for spiral designs.
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CREATE A MODERN FACADE Transform your home using characterful cladding from Silva Timber Slim, horizontal cladding in western red cedar gives this home a sleek and contemporary ﬁnish
pgrading your interiors with a lick of paint, laying new ﬂooring, or reordering the layout are commonplace aspects of a renovation project. But when it comes to transforming the exterior, what are your options? If your masonry, render or pebbledash looks tired, clever use of modern materials can help you to change the appearance completely. Timber cladding provides an easy and eﬃcient way to enhance the character of your home. The fact that no two pieces of wood are the same only adds to the appeal; the myriad grain patterns and colour tones mean you’ll get a unique design. If installed and ﬁnished properly, wood
cladding can last for decades. For project inspiration, look at Silva Timber’s collection. It stocks a selection of species including western red cedar, Siberian larch, iroko and heattreated ThermoWood. You’ll easily ﬁnd a material that suits the style you are trying to achieve, be it a popular New England look or a contemporary render and timber mix. As wood is naturally versatile, strong and durable, it’s the perfect material for exterior use – plus, of course, it’s recyclable, renewable and sustainable. And choosing timber cladding can bring an additional beneﬁt to your home – that of an extra layer of insulation.
1 Siberian larch sawfalling tongue and groove, from £22.16 per sqm 2 Western red cedar microline channel cladding, from £54.18 per sqm 3 ThermoWood shiplap cladding, from £30.34 per sqm 3
Find out more Silva Timber 0151 495 3111 or 020 8150 8055; silvatimber.co.uk
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DON’T MOVE, IMPROVE If you’ve got an unused garage or outhouse on your property, find out how to convert it into living space
reating more room by converting a disused outbuilding is a great way to improve your home and could provide you with space for an office, gym, cinema or even self-contained guest accommodation. Before you start, there are strict guidelines you will need to follow, so it’s worth working with an architect to create a bespoke scheme for your home. ‘They will cover everything a surveyor would, but can also add value to the project with their design skills,’ says architect Charles Barclay of Charles Barclay Architects (020 8674 0037; cbarchitects.co.uk). Your architect will be able to advise you on what will require planning consent and what you can build under permitted development (PD). As a guide, as long as your home and outbuilding is not
on designated land, including national parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas or a World Heritage Site, you can convert an outbuilding under PD, provided that certain conditions are met. For peace of mind, you can purchase a Lawful Development Certificate from your local authority, which proves your proposed development is lawful and does not require an application for planning permission. If your home falls under the categories above, or it’s a listed building, you will need planning permission. Class E of PD allows development within the curtilage of a house – the garden area – including outbuildings, as long as the building isn’t attached to the house and its intended use is for purposes incidental to the enjoyment of the
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house. This means it can’t include self-contained accommodation as primary living quarters, such as a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. An occasional home office might still be classed as incidental but, if you will use it as your regular place of work, the use would be classed as ancillary and you will need planning permission. Likewise, if you plan to build a separate annexe, consent will be required. Some local authorities may refuse consent unless the building is attached to the main house. If permission is granted, conditions are likely to be placed on the application. When considering the design of your conversion, architect Julian Owen at Julian Owen Associates (0115
TV REVISIT Eight years after Ben Coode-Adams and Freddie Robins’ original Grand Designs project, they converted a grain silo for guest accommodation. They built a timber frame inside to create a mezzanine, and connected it to the main house with a bridge. The project was done by Hudson Architects (01603 766 220; hudsonarchitects. co.uk), and cost around £80,000
Projects Converting outbuildings
CLEAR BLEND This garage has been converted into an annexe home for the client’s elderly parents. It was designed by DesignScape Architects (01225 858 500; dscape. co.uk) and the use of a green roof and materials sympathetic to the original building allowed the annexe to become a complementary addition to the main house. It cost around £180,000
GLASS LINK The owners of an apartment on the lower floors of a terraced house in north London asked William Tozer Associates (020 7404 0675; williamtozer associates.com) to convert their garage into a studio and design a linkway to connect it with the kitchen in the main house. The project required planning permission and it cost approximately £120,000
Projects Converting outbuildings
NEED TO KNOW
OPEN UP A street-facing window replaces a rolling shutter at the front of this former garage in a Dublin mews, which local architecture office TAKA (+353 1709 3004; taka.ie) has converted to create extra space. The ground floor was split into a narrow kitchen and living room, so the firm opened it up to create a large living space, and the kitchen was moved into the garage. The conversion and house refurbishment cost around £95,525
HOME-OFFICE SOLUTION Annie Mennes of Garrison Foundry Architects (garrisonfoundry.com) wanted to create a home office and guest accommodation on her property in Garrison, New York, so converted an old horse barn. After tearing the barn down to its concrete slab, an extra 35sqm of space was created. The build cost was approximately £100,000
where local planning officers will want you to use traditional materials wherever possible.’ Barclay agrees. ‘In rural settings, the planners will want the character and detail of the original building to be retained as far as possible. For example, a barn conversion should still look like a barn and not end up peppered with domestic-scaled windows and dormers.’ When it comes to budgeting for your project, it’s difficult to
predict how much an outbuilding conversion will cost, especially as working with historic buildings can reveal hidden variables. As a guide, Barclay suggests a minimum spend of £2,000 per sqm for a basic conversion. ‘However, if asbestos removal, underpinning or specialist restoration of stone or timber are involved, this figure can easily rise to the better part of £3,000 per sqm.’
TURN TO NEXT PAGE FOR CASE STUDY
Development is not permitted if the total area of ground covered by buildings, enclosures and containers within the curtilage (other than the original dwelling) would exceed 50 per cent of the total area of the curtilage (excluding the ground area of the original house). The
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50 per cent figure must take account of extensions to the original house. This means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948. Outbuildings must be single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5m and maximum overall height of 3m, or 4m with a dual-pitched roof.
Outbuildings are not permitted development if they are forward of the principal elevation of the original house. This guidance relates to the planning regime for England. Policy in Scotland and Wales may differ. Contact your local planning authority for further information.
WORDS SOPHIE VENING PHOTOGRAPHY JOAKIM BOREN; BEATRICE PEDICONI; ALICE CLANCY
922 9831; julianowen.co.uk) advises to check whether the outbuilding is worth converting. ‘Many garages will only have a single-skin brick construction,’ says Owen. ‘If you’re going to turn it into accommodation, you’ll have to damp-proof and insulate. It might be more costeffective to demolish it. PD does allow you to build a new outbuilding, as long as it is not too high, covers less than half your garden and doesn’t impact neighbours. Visit planningportal.co.uk for the specific rules,’ he says. If you do convert, the first things you will need to consider are an electricity source, drainage and insulation. ‘If there is no water or electrical supply nearby, don’t forget the cost of excavating a trench and getting a power supply installed,’ says Barclay. ‘Soakaways for rainwater and modern septic tanks can be used to deal with drainage.’ Space is likely to be limited – pocket doors (which slide into the wall) and sliding doors save room. Studio rooms, pool houses and home offices will benefit from large windows, allowing in plenty of daylight. When it comes to designing the external aspect, remember to keep your proposal sympathetic to neighbouring buildings and the surrounding context, especially if you have to apply for planning permission, as planners will be more willing to grant consent. ‘You will be more likely to succeed if your design enhances the setting,’ says Anthony Hudson, director of Hudson Architects. ‘Think carefully about materials, particularly if your building is in a conservation area
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CASE STUDY PROJECT DETAILS Location Heythrop, Oxfordshire Style of property Modern barn conversion Length of project 10 months
What they did Converted a stable block to create a three-bedroom living space in its place Size 90sqm Cost £280,000
Something old, something new A disused stable block has been transformed into accommodation on this estate in Heythrop, Oxfordshire
WORDS SOPHIE VENING
146 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
he owners of this 450sqm, 19th-century, stone-built former vicarage in Oxfordshire needed a three-bedroom house for their caretaker and his family. ‘They wanted their full-time caretaker to live on site to improve the security of the main house,’ explains project architect Charles Barclay of Charles Barclay Architects (020 8674 0037; cbarchitects.co.uk). ‘But they wanted to provide him and his family with privacy, so decided to create an entirely new home.’ And, with various outbuildings available for conversion on site, the owners had plenty of space to choose from. A disused stable block running along the north side of the walled kitchen garden was finally selected for the new
property’s location, overlooking the garden to the south and an orchard to the north. Charles Barclay Architects was asked to come up with a design for the conversion, and building work started in May 2016. ‘Unfortunately, most of the building was poorly built in breeze block and was too narrow to achieve a sensible internal layout, so the majority of the stable block had to be taken down,’ says Barclay. ‘But we kept the original stone wall of the kitchen garden for use on the north elevation. It makes an attractive feature and, as it is visible from the road, keeping it was helpful from a planning perspective. It respects the history of the main house.’ The new home now has 90sqm of
Project Converting outbuildings IN FOCUS Building contracts The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT), an independent body established by the construction industry, and the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) both offer ‘Plain English’ pre-written contracts, which are available to download for free from their websites (jctltd.co.uk; fmb.org.uk). Contrary to popular belief, verbal agreements are legally binding, but it is much harder to gain a smooth resolution if a dispute arises. This is why it makes good sense to have something written on paper and signed by both the client and contractor, even for friendly, informal projects.
internal floor space and has been built using a structural insulated panel (SIP) frame with timber weatherboarding on all the elevations except the north, which incorporates the original wall. The steep pitched roof, finished in red clay tiles like the main house, echoes that of the former stable block and has allowed the architects to create a high living/dining space at the heart of the house. Velux windows provide ventilation and flood the interior with natural light. As you enter the outbuilding and turn left, you walk into an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area. Beyond this sits an office, two bedrooms and a bathroom. Above the bedrooms is a mezzanine sleeping platform, accessed by a ladder-stair, alongside much-needed built-in storage. Outside, a projecting galvanised steel pergola has been built, and runs for the entire length of the south elevation as support for a future grapevine. In line with the owner’s brief for an eco-friendly home, rainwater runs off the roof and is collected in a large water tank, where it is kept for use on
far left The pitched roof echoes that of the former stable block and has allowed the architect to create an airy, double-height living space left Large-format tiled flooring has been used throughout the ground floor to help unify the kitchen, dining and living zones below Roof lights have been installed to flood the space with daylight and also offer ventilation at a high level that’s ideal for the mezzanine accommodation
the garden. What’s more, the home is heated by an air-source heat pump and features a Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery system (MVHR), which results in fresher air and improved climate control, in addition to minimal energy bills. Barclay’s architecture firm acted as contract administrators on the job, but the builder did his own day-today project management. ‘The biggest problem during the build was that the SIP frame supplier was very late, causing a two-month hold-up in the middle of the schedule,’ says Barclay. ‘It later turned out that the supplier was going into receivership and the clients were lucky to have had the panels delivered at all.’ The conversion project has provided spacious, three-bedroom living accommodation for staff for £280,000. Planning restrictions mean the property is tied to the main house and so cannot be sold separately, but it’s nonetheless a great example of how an outbuilding can be transformed into liveable accommodation. granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 147
Projects Buyer’s guide
Poured flooring Add an industrial and modern feel to your home with this durable option
eplicating the chic style of New York loft living with a poured floor will help create the perfect ambience. Or, at just a fraction of the price of natural stone, you could form a luxurious look that will require little maintenance. This is ideal for hallways, kitchens and other high-traffic areas. Concrete and resin have become popular solutions for those seeking to create a unified look between their kitchen-diner and garden, but both require a fair amount of preparation. You may have to consider shaving off a few inches from existing doors and removing skirting, as the build-up height could be substantial. This guide will help you clarify if it is worth the upheaval, and whether a poured floor can provide you and your home with what is needed in terms of form, finish and function.
Sturdy option Whether you leave it in its raw state or choose to polish it, concrete is a
stylish but hardwearing covering that works well with underfloor heating (UFH). The two are a natural pairing because the former is a good heat conductor and retains the heat produced or acquired from solar energy. ‘Polished concrete is a natural product, which is part of its beauty, but it needs taking care of,’ explains Claire Butt from the Polished Concrete Company. ‘There are a variety of finishes and colours. However, it is important that clients see them in-situ to avoid disappointment when seeing the finished result.’ While concrete is fairly low maintenance, preparing the floor before it is poured is essential. ‘A good polished concrete company should be able to advise your builder on preparing the subfloor and be available to answer any questions during the project,’ continues Butt. ‘Make sure you use a company that is a registered installer and member of the Contract Flooring Association wherever possible.’
1 CHIC FINISH
2 ZESTY HUE
Olive green walls and a light-reflecting concrete floor create an inviting ambience. The project cost approximately £8,000, Lazenby. (01935 700 306; lazenby.co.uk)
The resin LuxSphere in solid citrine is part of Sphere 8’s deluxe residential flooring system and costs around £234 per sqm. (020 8969 0183; sphere8.com)
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 149
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Projects Buyer’s guide
3 Concrete is made by mixing cement, gravel and sand with water. Most concrete floors are cast as a single piece and take approximately 28 days to cure. A seal is applied or the covering can be machine polished. A floor of this type is a long-term solution that can last a lifetime, especially if it’s been sealed correctly. The only maintenance required is the normal dusting and mopping. Bear in mind that the material is not flexible and there is a risk of cracking from sudden temperature change, but any fissures can be filled with a coloured polymer repair system.
4 3 RAW CHIC
Thin profile ‘The main appeal of a polished concrete floor is its seamless finish and modern aesthetic, as many people crave that smooth canvas of grey,’ says Isobel Stewart at Sphere 8. ‘However, a poured resin floor can emulate this very accurately. It can even be applied on stairs, if people want to unite their entire home over several storeys with one seamless surface.’ Resin floors tend to be thinner than concrete at around 3-10mm, whereas concrete has a minimum of 50mm. This means
Similar concrete flooring to this design costs from £100 per sqm, Steyson Concrete Flooring (020 8553 2636; steysonconcrete floors.co.uk)
4 REAL RESIN The polyurethane resin used in this bathroom is from £98 per sqm, Chasingspace (020 8265 2855; chasingspace. co.uk)
the former takes less time to cure. Resin is also softer underfoot and works well with UFH. There are three main types of resin floor systems: epoxy, methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polyurethane (PU). Each has a different curing time, with PU offering the shortest. An epoxy floor is more durable and resistant to moisture, plus it is very easy to sanitise and highly resistant to germs, which is why it is popular in hospitals and clinics. The 35-year lifespan of resin doesn’t beat the lifetime guarantee of concrete,
however, and you may have to apply a new coating in 10 years. Prices for this type of flooring start from between £98-£150 per sqm, but this is dependent on the size of the final area and how much work is required prior to installation. Prepping the subfloor in both instances is critical to ensuring an optimum finish. ‘A poured floor is like a skin that goes over the subfloor, so any issues, deviations or faults are likely to become apparent,’ explains Stewart. ‘For resin floors, most often we lay on to a screed and this needs to be bone dry, as
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 151
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Projects Buyer’s guide
5 5 LINKED IN
any moisture can cause blisters or bubbles in the resin and this is costly and time-consuming to repair.’
Concrete flooring creates a link between indoors and outdoors in this home. For similar, from £150 per sqm, try Polished Concrete Co. (020 8462 4050; polishedconcrete co.co.uk)
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Alternative option Micro topping or micro-screed floors are much thinner than concrete coverings, with a build-up of 3mm to 6mm thickness, depending on the substrate. ‘Polymer is added to the mix to give the cement-based product an element of flexibility,’ explains Jonathan Rea at Chasingspace. ‘However, this is modest by comparison to resin, which has approximately 15 per cent flexibility compared to concrete or micro topping at one per cent or less.’ If you have existing concrete flooring that has seen better days, rather than invest time and money in a full replacement, consider applying stencils. This is a costeffective and simple way to transform your hard surface. Just ensure to coat your floor with an acrylic primer and then seal it with a matt varnish before adding any motifs, as this will allow you to easily amend any mistakes.
6 EASTERN INFLUENCE
This Moroccan arabesque stencil can breathe new life into existing concrete floors. £45, Henny Donovan Motif (020 7254 5541; henny donovanmotif.co.uk)
NEED TO KNOW Installing a concrete or resin floor is not a DIY job and you should seek the advice of a professional. Try the Contract Flooring Association (0115 941 1126; cfa.org.uk). Concrete isn’t the only material that is susceptible to cracks; these can still develop in resin floors and they can also peel if they are not
installed and maintained correctly. Concrete and resin are available in a wide variety of colours; view them in-situ before deciding on a hue. Make sure you know if the buildup height will affect your thresholds before installation or ordering new joinery, such as your internal and external doors.
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 153
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YOUR BUILD PROBLEMS SOLVED Looking for self-build advice? We got back in touch with some of our favourite TV grand designers to find out their top tips
fter 18 years on our television screens, Grand Designs has seen nearly 200 self-building families complete their dream projects. From enormous new-builds and modern mansions to creative conversions, restorations and renovations, the one thing every project has in common is the sheer grit and determination of the people at the helm. Between them, they have faced every possible pitfall and project disaster, and more often than not they come out victorious with a beautiful home to show for their efforts.
If you’re thinking of taking on your own build it’s important to seek out all the tips you can before you begin. Who better to ask for advice than the families who have seen it all? Whether you’ve got planning application concerns, party wall issues, design questions, project management worries or even problems with inclement weather, be inspired by the ways our amateur builders tackled the many hurdles in their way and find out what crucial pieces of advice they couldn’t have done without. If they can do it, anyone can.
Who? Pru and Richard Irvine What? Striking countryside new-build Where? Midlothian, Scotland When? Series 8, 2008 What happened?
Richard and Pru’s large rural plot was already home to two lime kilns, which had to be preserved to satisfy the planners. Around these they built an enormous family home, but clever use of materials and a sedum roof means it sits comfortably in its surroundings. What was the hardest part of the project?
Pru had managed restoration projects, but had never taken on a job of this size. ‘It was a huge undertaking,’ she recalls. ‘Organising the sequencing of events was difficult – I learnt how to deal with delays and work around the knock-on effect they had down the line.’ Do they have advice for other self-builders?
‘Plan, plan, plan. Don’t put a fork in the ground until you know your building inside out, from what the foundations are made out of to where electric sockets will be positioned. It’s vital to make those decisions at the beginning so you don’t get caught out later on.’
156 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
Projects Grand guide
Who? Robert and Milla Gaukroger What? Large, domed eco-extension to an 80s home Where? Windermere, Lake District When? Series 10, 2010 What happened?
To get permission for their ambitious eco project on the shores of Lake Windermere, the couple classed their build as an extension, though the existing house was engulfed by the new addition. Timber cladding and a curved roof gave the property its distinctive look. What went wrong?
As well as ﬁnancial concerns, Robert and Milla’s project was hit by a terrible ﬂood. ‘Luckily we were at the top of a hill,’ remembers Robert, ‘but the water poured through our site and we had to stop working for a few months, which delayed the whole process.’ How did they make up for lost time?
‘By the time the ﬂoods died down, it was the middle of December and the house wasn’t watertight. We put up a scaﬀold to cover the build so we could work through winter. It was diﬃcult, but we persevered and managed to pull back the time we’d lost.’
granddesignsmagazine.com / MAY 2017 157
Projects Grand guide
WALL 3PARTY ISSUES Who? Jonathan and Deborah Broom What? Modern new-build on an infill site Where? North London When? Series 13, 2013 What happened?
Plots in central London are hard to find, so Jonathan Broom and his wife Deborah seized the opportunity to build on this sliver of infill land. In order to protect the privacy of their neighbours, they submerged the property six metres below the ground. Were there any unexpected issues?
‘I didn’t realise how many party wall agreements we’d need,’ says Jonathan, who had to negotiate 17 to get permission to build. ‘I visited everyone to explain that the build would improve the area as it was filling in land that was used as a dump, as well as reiterate how sorry we were. We now have a closer relationship than most Londoners do with their neighbours.’ Any tips for other self-builders?
‘Everyone knows about a contingency budget, but I could have done with a contingency plan. You have to be flexible and make changes when things go wrong. Surround yourself with people who know how to do their jobs – then trust them to deliver.’
As award winning architects and designers we aspire to create extraordinary buildings and spaces for our clients, sometimes As award winning architects and briefs. designers we aspire create extraordinary and spaces ourneeds clients, from the most difficult of design Central to our to philosophy is that goodbuildings design should reflectforthe of sometimes our clients from the most difficult of design briefs. Central to our philosophy is that good design should reflect the needs of our clients and respond to the surrounding environment. and respond to the surrounding environment. Pushing the boundaries of design we are able to achieve timeless, highly innovative and sustainable projects. Pushing boundaries of design wefrom are initial able to achieve timeless, highly innovative andproject. sustainable projects. We offer the a complete design service advice through to the completion of your We offer a complete design service from initial advice through to the completion of your project. We complete works all over the UK and internationally. We complete works all over the UK and internationally. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your potential project We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your potential project t: 01525 406677 t: 406677 t: 01525 0121 231 3395 t: 0121 231 3395 e: firstname.lastname@example.org e: email@example.com w: www.nicolastyearchitects.co.uk w: www.nicolastyearchitects.co.uk
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Projects Grand guide
4 CHOOSING MATERIALS Who? Rachel and Ben Hammond What? Restoration of a 50s vicarage Where? South London When? Series 13, 2013 What happened?
The Hammonds were open-minded when they began to look for a project, simply desiring a family home to make their own. They transformed a bland-looking vicarage in south London into a modern masterpiece, with a cantilevered roof and fully glazed wall. Was it difficult to get planning permission?
Rachel and Ben had a pre-planning consultation to get officials on side. ‘We submitted two options, but made our favourite really appealing,’ Rachel says. ‘We also reduced the ridge height so it’d be less visible than the original house – it was incontestable. Their only issue was the colour of the tiles for cladding.’ How did they win the planners around?
‘By presenting a valid case. We brought them example tiles and made a sample wall to demonstrate how the palette and grey tone would sit against the natural environment and nearby buildings. It took a month of persuasion but they let us continue – which was lucky as we’d already ordered the tiles we wanted.’
Projects Grand guide
WORKING WITH A LISTED BUILDING
Who? Louise and Jeremy Brown What? Renovation of a run-down farmhouse Where? Gloucester, Gloucestershire When? Series 5, 2005 What happened?
To bring their Grade-II listed home into the 21st century, Louise and Jeremy undertook a sympathetic restoration project. They added modern elements such as a glazed link and contemporary kitchen, and artisan craftspeople used traditional techniques like wattle and daub to preserve and repair the building. What were the biggest problems?
‘Our first structural survey wasn’t done correctly, and it transpired later that the building was much more unstable than we’d anticipated,’ admits Louise. ‘We had to move out for the duration of the build. It cost more than we could afford to fix the structural issues, but by that point we were already committed.’ How did they keep the planners on side?
‘By explaining what we wanted to achieve at the start. They respected the fact that we wanted to recreate the traditional building methods. Communication is key and talking to officials as soon as you can is vital, as they need to understand your vision and decide how you can achieve that within their guidelines.’
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 161
Projects Grand guide
STARTING FROM SCRATCH
Who? Phil Palmer and Michael Butcher What? Modern-feel new-build farmhouse Where? Newbury, Berkshire When? Series 13, 2013 What happened?
After high-flying careers and a flat in Soho, Phil and Michael wanted a change of pace. So they bought a rural farm on which to build their dream home – a sleek, monochrome building, surrounded by glazing and clad in local shingle. But the purchase came with the clause that they had to continue to work the farm. Did they get anything wrong?
The couple were self-build novices, so they had a lot to learn. ‘Our utility room is too small to get through with laundry,’ says Michael, ‘and we don’t like the kitchen. We should have double-checked everything but there was too much to do – we were learning to be farmers and builders at the same time.’ What would they have done differently?
‘We’d clear our diaries and commit time to projectmanage more thoroughly. I also wish we’d asked someone more experienced to draw up an extensive checklist of all the processes. There were a few things we didn’t know we needed, which really held us up.’
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 163
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Projects Grand guide
Who? Mark and Debbie Sampson What? Innovative eco new-build Where? Lot, France When? Grand Designs Abroad, 2004 What happened?
Mark and Debbie had no building experience when they decided to relocate to France and build an ecofriendly home. It was a case of learning on the job – Mark project-managed the role, choosing his build team and organising the project schedule himself. What lessons did they learn?
‘I don’t think I picked the best team for the job,’ Mark reflects. ‘I chose people I knew and liked, but should have been more objective and hired artisan workers – we had to redo the balconies as they sloped away from the house. I soon learnt that you should check everything yourself and trust your instincts.’ Any insights for other self-builders?
‘Taking on a foreign project was an added challenge so spend time in the area first. Get to know the local peculiarities – things won’t work the same way they do back home. Try to develop a social network, too – you’ll need people to support you through the build.’
GETTING HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS
Who? Merry and Ben Albright What? Self-build of a timber-framed SIP house Where? Herefordshire When? Series 3, 2003 What happened?
Priced out of the local housing market, Merry and Ben self-built their home. It was the first UK domestic project to use structurally insulated panels (SIPs), which have transformed building practices. They then built a second home for their growing family. What was the biggest challenge?
‘For our first house the money went out faster than it came in and got very tight towards the end,’ says Merry. ‘For our second, the main challenge was having a baby halfway through. I was going to projectmanage the build but it was too much to take on, so we handed over to an independent expert.’ Do they have any advice for self-builders?
‘Enjoy it. It’s stressful and some days will be better than others, but it’s also exhilarating. There’s a great sense of achievement at the end so it’s important not to lose sight of that. There’s no other time where you will have the chance to be creative on such a big scale.’
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 165
Projects Grand guide
Who? Nigel and Tamayo Hussey What? Japanese-inspired new-build Where? Tintern, Wye Valley When? Series 13, 2013 What happened?
This home is a carefully considered balance of local Welsh craftsmanship and Japanese style. Nigel and Tamayo clad their new-build in Japanese larch, which grew in the forests nearby. To save money, they chose to forego an architect or project manager and oversaw the build themselves instead. What was the biggest challenge?
‘Sticking to our budget of £180,000 was really difficult,’ says Nigel. ‘It’s hard to make big design decisions with money as a constant shadow, and I was concerned that we’d end up compromising too much. Because we didn’t have an architect on the project there was a lot to decide ourselves.’ What would their advice be to self-builders?
‘Just do it,’ says Tamayo. ‘There are very few times in life when the opportunity presents itself, so if you find yourself at a point at which you can, just go for it. I’m so glad we did.’
WORDS EMILY SEYMOUR PHOTOGRAPHY JEFFERSON SMITH; MARK LUSCOMBE-WHYTE; CHRIS TUBBS; SEAN CONBOY
Who? Francis and Karen Shaw What? Restoration of a 14th-century castle Where? Skipton, North Yorkshire When? Series 7, 2007 What happened?
Francis and Karen’s castle was a scheduled ancient monument rather than a dwelling. This meant there were particular planning requirements, and the whole project had to be monitored by English Heritage. What were the biggest problems?
‘During the build a wall collapsed, which was a huge setback,’ says Francis. ‘We used most of our emergency sum to rebuild that section so it was so important to have that buffer in place. We cut costs in other ways, such as sourcing materials from auctions and eBay.’ Any suggestions for other self-builders?
‘If you’re working with a listed building, be patient and expect a lot of compromise. ‘There’s an engagement with public authorities that you have to accept. Even if both parties are trying to preserve the property, opinions will differ about what that means. Be open and honest about what you want to achieve, but accept that the authorities will have the final decision.’
166 JUNE MAY 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
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and even the plot on which it is built. It is also the ﬁrst industry body to evaluate the eco and ﬁnancial merits of a property in equal measure. Currently every house that leaves the Huf Haus factory in Hartenfels, Germany, will receive the DGNB’s Gold certiﬁcate, and the Huf Haus UK show house in Weybridge, Surrey, has just received further recognition with the DGNB’s Platinum award. Oﬀering homeowners the opportunity to enjoy eco-friendly, carbon-neutral lifestyles, with an emphasis on health and wellbeing, Huf Haus is the market leader for contemporary post-and-beam architecture in Europe.
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granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 169
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Projects Buyer’s guide
Utilise the sun’s rays to reduce your energy bills and cut your home’s carbon footprint
1 PASSIVE DESIGN
2 URBAN ADDITION
An eco-home in West Yorkshire has been built to passive house standards. Eco Heat and Power (01422 843 414; ecoheat.co.uk) installed a solar thermal array. A similar arrangement of panels would cost approximately £4,500
This home, designed by Prewett Bisley (020 7256 2195; prewettbizley.com) has a PV array that provides around 1,225 kWh per year, which represents over three quarters of the home’s electrical energy use. The panels cost approximately £7,000
hen you’re looking to create a home that’s both comfortable and sustainable, installing renewable technology may be an attractive solution – not to mention one that will save on energy bills. A popular option is solar tech as it’s relatively easy and cost-effective to install. There are two different types of panel – those that create hot water and those that generate electricity. The technologies in each are very different but they can be used alongside each other if you want to reap the benefits of both. Plus, these two solar systems have the added bonus of being eligible for government funding programmes through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed-in Tariff (FIT).
Solar thermal On average, UK households spend up to 30 per cent of their annual heating
budget on hot water for bathing, washing up and other domestic uses. Solar thermal panels allow you to cut down on this by harvesting the sun’s warmth to generate hot water. In general, a well-specified set-up can deliver around 60 per cent of a family’s annual requirement. There are two types of thermal panel – evacuated tubes and flat plates. Both of them work on the same principle: the sun’s warmth is absorbed during the day and passed through a special fluid, which is then circulated through a series of copper pipes to a heat exchange coil. This is then fed into a special water cylinder with a solar coil (twin coil systems) ready for use throughout your home. Evacuated tubes, which comprise a series of cylindrical collectors, are widely considered more efficient than their counterparts, especially in overcast conditions, which unfortunately we are prone to in
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 171
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Projects Buyer’s guide
3 the UK. However, they’re also more costly and fragile (although the collectors are easy to replace). Flat plates have a much slimmer profile, making them easier to integrate into the roof, and are preferred by self-builders for aesthetic reasons. The size of panel required will depend on the size of your house and on how many people live in it. The average home will require a 2-3kW system, which will cost around £3,000 to £5,000, depending on the installation requirements.
Photovoltaic systems Solar photovoltaics (PV) work in a totally different way to their thermal counterparts. They capture energy from sunshine and daylight and convert it into electricity that can be used for appliances and lighting, or even to power other renewable products that need a base amount of energy to run, such as heat pumps. PV cells consist of layers of semiconducting material, often silicone, that create an electric field when hit by sunlight, which generates DC (direct current) energy. This is then passed through the panel to an inverter (a small box that is usually hidden in the loft), which converts the power into AC (alternating current) energy that can be used in your house.
3 TECH UPGRADE A similar slimline installation to these Greenskies solar thermal panels from Worcester Bosch (0330 123 9339; worcester-bosch. co.uk) would cost from £3,000
4 EASY RETROFIT Solar systems aren’t just for new builds – they suit renovations, too. Solar Slate Plate’s (01527 525 290; solarslate plate.co.uk) innovative special fittings help reduce installation times. The fitting on this project cost around £450
Arrays are rated according to kilowatt peak (kWp) and the amount of energy it generates is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). For an average home, 4kWp PV systems are more than adequate and will cost anything from £5,000 to £7,000, generating around 3,500kWh per year. As the average UK household uses less than this (around 3,000-3,200kWh), selling the additional energy back to the National Grid through the FIT can be a profitable exercise. In addition to traditional solar panels, there are tiles that can be integrated into your roof, giving the
appearance of slate – therefore removing some of the aesthetic worries that homeowners have regarding panels sitting on their roofs. Another exciting new development is transparent solar panels, created by Polysolar. While most other PV panels need to face the sun to a certain degree, the Polysolar transparent panels can be used on walls as well because they work with low-level light. They are very new to the domestic market in the UK, but there have been a number of installations – including on greenhouses. Panels cost around £250 per sqm.
granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 173
Projects Buyer’s guide
WORDS ANNA-MARIE DESOUZA PHOTOGRAPHY GREEN BUILDING STORE; PETER WHITE BRE
RHI and FITs The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) offers cashback to households that generate their own heat via bolt-on tech, which includes solar thermal systems. To qualify for the RHI, a qualified installer, certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), must fit the technologies – this helps to protect consumers by ensuring they meet certain standards and are fitted properly. The tariff is the amount of financial support a household will receive from the government in respect of each unit of heating supplied by the system towards their heating needs – currently set at 19.74p per kWh. However, the payments a household receives will depend on the annual heating requirements of the property. For most, the property’s heating requirement is taken from its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), but in some cases, heat meters are required. Payments are made quarterly for seven years after installation and, with meters, the homeowners must submit a reading each quarter to determine the payment level. The tariffs are due to change this spring, but this is predicted to be a nominal amount. The Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) were designed to encourage uptake of small-scale renewable and low-carbon technologies. Under the FIT, you could be paid for the electricity you generate if you have an eligible system – which includes PV. There are two types of tariff. Firstly, the generation tariff is where your energy supplier pays you a set amount for each kWh of electricity you generate. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for up to 20 years. The export tariff involves your energy supplier paying you a further rate for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, so you can sell any surplus. To qualify for the FIT scheme, the installer and the products you use must all be certified under the MCS. The tariffs you receive will depend on both the eligibility date and, for solar PV, your property’s EPC rating. 174 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
5 5 SMART HOME Polysolar’s (01223 911 534; polysolar.co.uk) transparent PV glass generates an average of 3,500kWh of electricity per year – enough to supply the home’s daytime electricity needs. Panels cost from around £250 per sqm
6 RETRO FIT Designer Wayne Hemingway fitted the Sunstation system, by Solarcentury and available through Ikea (0800 334 5996; ikea. solarcentury.com), to his renovated home. The cost of an average system (with 12 modules) is £6,195
NEED TO KNOW In most cases you won’t need planning permission to install solar tech – this can be done under permitted development in retrofit cases. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If your house is in a conservation area or is a listed building, you must check regulations with your local authority. Solar systems work best in direct sunlight, so the best place for them to be installed is on a south-facing roof, with a pitch of at least 30-40 degrees. As with all renewable tech, to maximise value you must ensure that
your home is as thermally efficient as possible before specifying anything. This will have a bearing on the amount you can claim from government incentives, too. Both solar thermal and PV are lowmaintenance tech. They will benefit from being cleaned on an annual basis, and should be checked by a professional every five years. The liquid in solar thermal systems needs to be checked more regularly – every one to two years – as it may need to be flushed and replaced. This shouldn’t cost more than £120.
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granddesignsmagazine.com / JUNE 2017 179
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granddesignsmagazine.com JUNE 2017 181 MAY 2017 GRAND /DESIGNS
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Jon Marshall GD spoke to Jon Marshall, co-founder and design director of Map
We have a responsibility as designers to consider the environment, so I follow a lot of eco-blogs and try to incorporate those ideas into my work. I also love seeing work by branding agencies – it’s the commercial, user-engaging side of art I find fascinating.
Kids learn to assemble and code with the Kano computer kit, £139.99, Kano (kano.me)
model. My favourite way to work is in an open conversation. I think that’s the way a lot of great ideas are born.’
‘Product design fascinates me for two reasons: I love thinking about how things
‘There are many internet-connected products out there now. It’s early days,
are made and I’m interested in the people engaging with objects. I think the passion came from my parents. My dad was an engineer and my mum was a teacher, and I like to think my job combines those two things.’
so we’re still very much in an experimental phase. The key questions should always be: is this product providing some additional benefit to users, and does the internetconnected layer augment rather than distract from the original function? A smart light switch could have plenty of useful additions but if it’s hard to turn the lights on and off, then it’s a loss rather than a gain overall.’
industrial design and realised it’s the best of both worlds. I think the difference between art and design is that design is more peoplefocused – you have to consider who will buy your products. I changed courses and studied industrial design at the Royal College of Art.’ ‘After a few years of working with Barber and Osgerby, in 2012 we decided to set up a sister company, Map. It’s geared towards collaborations
with tech companies looking to create beautiful, carefully crafted products. As a lot of our clients are designers themselves, the approach is never a traditional client/agency
Suzy Snooze baby monitor, £115, Bleep Bleeps (bleepbleeps.com)
They’re the centre of our organisational lives, but now people are looking for other, more streamlined experiences. A lot of products we’ve done only have one job and they do it really well. The Ding doorbell, for example, isn’t too complicated. All it does is connect your doorbell to your phone, so that you can see when someone is at the door and speak to them to pass on a message if you’re out.’
‘I discovered industrial design and realised it’s the best of both worlds’
‘I had a place to study engineering at university but did an art foundation course first. That’s where I discovered
Ily modern family phone, Insensi (ily.co)
‘Smartphones have become increasingly powerful in recent years.
‘There’s a concern that the more technology there is in a product, the more redundancy you build in. I’m
trying to avoid that. For example, our new Suzy Snooze baby monitor follows children through their lives. It starts out as a baby monitor and then turns into a soother, night light and time-telling device, and later becomes a speaker. It gives something that usually becomes obsolete after a year or so a much longer lifespan, which is something I’d like to do across all our products.’ (020 3376 5931; mapprojectoffice.com)
Ding smart doorbell and chime (chime shown), Ding (dingproducts.com)
Beeline smart compass, £99, Beeline (beeline.co) 194 JUNE 2017 / granddesignsmagazine.com
WORDS EMILY SEYMOUR
eading up the consultancy arm of Barber & Osgerby’s design group, Jon Marshall is the industrial designer showing tech firms how to get the best out of their products. Based in Battersea, his creative studio has been behind some of the most innovative new products of recent years, from a streamlined GPS for cyclists to a millennial take on a landline phone, via a make-your-own computer kit and a baby alarm. The one thing Map’s products all have in common is a deep understanding of how people use what they buy.
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