Downley House by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
Contemporary wooden residence designed in 2012 by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects located in Petersfield, United Kingdom.
Description by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
The design is in the genre of English country houses enjoying an unfolding sequence of spaces and views and composed of simple geometric forms nestling within the landscape. A promenade is established which reveals changing experiences of the arcadian surroundings: It commences at the circular arrival court, extends via an oak pergola through the inner garden court, in which the ruin stands as a romantic verdant folly, to the cylindrical entrance hall. The internal circulation flows from the entrance hall and guest wing stair along the entrance façade and across the ‘Foudre’ dining hall to connect with a further staircase. This leads to the roof garden which enjoys a panoramic view of the valley and bridges to the hillside to complete the promenade into the landscape.
The house employs natural and locally sourced materials, a prefabricated timber structure and sophisticated environmental strategy to create a very low energy home. A combination of high insulation with good air sealing, earth tubes, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and a ground source heat pump ensured no additional energy was required for heating last winter. The house has made a unique design contribution in the South Downs, generating positive interest within the local community including hosting an educational day for Ditcham Park School pupils to learn about the environmental and ecological technologies used.
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