New build passivhaus home on a sensitive suburban site
The sensitive project is a single, two-storey dwelling carved into the hillside. The bottom storey is characterised by a dark masonry plinth that starts as a boundary wall that is uncovered as the site falls, whilst the top storey sits as a lightweight wrapping timber element on top. The building overcomes a difficult site responding with modern sustainable design, maximising views and natural light in the interior spaces whilst not compromising on energy-efficiency or beautiful detail.
The site is a tough one; it’s a steep, wooded plot, steeper than is typical, even for Sheffield; a large proportion of the site area is covered by a tree protection order for the woodland’s landscape value and there are significant overlooking issues into or from the existing dwelling dependent on where a new building is sited.
Whilst the project has changed significantly over the design process, the primary ideas have remained. To create a solid masonry base that belongs to, and accommodates, the steep site slope starting as a slim plinth at driveway level ending at 1.5 storeys high at its peak. This contains the bedrooms and other support spaces, whilst the main daytime living accommodation all sits within a lighter weight timber framed and clad enclosure sat on top. The slim building is oriented towards the west and the amazing views; this allows the Windows to the north and south to be minimal and less about views than daylight. Slim rooflights set between the internally exposed timber structure complete a light spacious volume.