Two sustainable houses

Our clients, two doctors, bought a derelict bungalow in a disused quarry. Their initial thoughts were to demolish the house and build a new house. However, the site had potential. It has a good slope with views to a distant hills and was big enough for two houses. With a sloping site the idea was to create a series of stepped garden terraces with the houses nestling under sloping solar panels. Our clients were keen environmentalists, so our brief was to design to Code 4 for Sustainable Homes.

With limited funds available, we convinced our clients that they could invest in building and selling one property in order to fund their dream home. The site was landlocked by surrounding big detached houses, which overlooked their land, so our idea was an unconventional solution of partly burying the houses into the sloping quarry, and creating a series of garden roofs which were disguised as garden terraces.

Above these terraces float the sloping roofs of solar panels with extra living accommodation.

The planners overruled local objections, commenting that they rarely see such originality coming before their committee, and recommended it for approval. Unfortunately due to health reasons, our clients could not continue with the project, and the land with planning permission was put up for sale without their 'dream' home ever being built.