Hermitage Farm


We were appointed to prepare a sketch scheme proposal for Hermitage Farm including layout drawings, 3D visualizations and project cost estimates based on an exciting brief for a new house with garage and music studio. The site of the house was an unremarkable brick barn which already had planning permission to be demolished and a large house built in its place. The site enjoyed sweeping views down a meadow to the east.

Our response to the brief was to find building forms which created both dramatic and intimate relationships with the landscapes. A series of plan types were reviewed to assess how best to exploit the opportunities of view, solar access and defense from harsh weather conditions.

Landscape design and building form was not only used to create different external spaces but also to create defensive layering and climatic buffering.

Features such as land and building forms and trees would be used to help lift and tire the wind, whilst brise soleil and water features were suggested to help mitigate the effects of high summer sun. In so doing the fabric of the house would be afforded less extreme temperatures to deal with and the outside spaces could be enjoyed for longer periods through the seasons.

Internally the planning of the house aimed to maximize the surprise and beauty of the views of the sloping meadow to the east whilst optimizing potentials for passive solar gain to the south. The placement of bathrooms and kitchens was fastidiously considered with a view to keeping hot water runs to a minimum. Although tricky to do in a bungalow with many bedrooms, circulation spaces were fused with living spaces to reduce the use of corridors wherever practicable.