Coupdeville Architects have recently started work on the Zero Carbon House in Nan Clarks Lane, North London. The design strategy is to create an environmentally responsible building that responds to its location and enhances the site therefore to create an earth sheltered building, which is set into the existing slope on the site. The building is arranged in three zones and the adult areas and children’s area are connected by the living spaces. Spaces connect directly to the garden making the most of the views and sunlight.
As the children’s area is only used intermittently this area is located at the end of the sequence of spaces so that the living and adult zones can be used as a cohesive whole. There was also a requirement to provide areas that allow the buildings occupants to be immersed on all sides by the site. Coupdeville have therefore integrated spaces where a 360 degree view of the site can be enjoyed.
The radiating walls are used to organise the building into separate zones. The walls rise out of the slope of the site and spread outwards embracing the views. The radiating walls are made of a stacked stone which has a timeless natural appearance that will appear to have grown out of the site. Vegetation will be encouraged to engulf these walls making them seem even more embedded in the site. This is very much in the tradition of the romantic landscaping scheme that has been adopted for the rest of the site.. The more contemporary glass and tower elements will be contained by these elements.
Arcs of glass provide the main facades to the living accommodation. The glazing to the rear of the building is arranged as a series of arcs. These draw in the view from the inside and embrace the site externally. These elements will be also control solar gain and heat loss through an internally mounted thermal blind within the triple glazing. The glazing will be straight sections that arranged together appear as a lightly facetted curve.
Thermal towers bring light deep into the property and create a thermal stack effect. They form high level areas in the building where expansive views of the site can be enjoyed. The biomorphic cladding to the two towers creates both a solar shading device and a sculptural presence – it has been developed to provide shading to the glass towers whilst still framing views across the site. It was generated by exploring the fractal organisation of trees which developed into the two sheets of overlapping water cut Corten steel. The “branches” and hence glazed area at the base of the towers is scaled to suit full size openings and this reduces up the tower to form a denser structure with smaller openings.
Entrance Pavilion is designed as a reflective glass box which sits in a reflecting pool that during daytime reflects the surrounding landscape and at night lights up to reveal a winter garden. During the day the pool and pavilion reflect their surroundings and dematerialise the building. At night the lighting internally reveals the planted winter garden internally.
Coupdeville Architects, are a practice based in West London formed in 2005 by Jerome Keam, Pravin Muthiah and Giles Lovegrove. All three partners share a passion for designing innovative and environmentally friendly buildings, which respond to brief and context whilst producing unique design solutions.
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