The Glass House

One-Off Houses

This house in Brixham evolved from a modest brief for a contemporary and sustainable four bedroom new build residence.

The plot is located in a south facing valley in a suburban setting with generous plots surrounding it. The idea was to replace a single-storey dwelling with a two-storey design: the modern concept was approved for planning by unanimous decision.

Sited on a former garden plot, the intention was to make the large appear small, while retaining a sense of openness to the tree lined street. The graphite black brick clad first floor rests heavily yet suspended above the glazing and white render of the ground floor, pulling the form down into the site. The flat roof opens up with a view of the sky and trees beyond, which combined with the narrow banding of the first floor cladding make the narrow plot appear far wider; a variety of set backs and overhangs to the ground floor amplify this effect and work with the glazing to break up an otherwise dominant form.

The proposal utilises a prefabricated shell of structurally insulated panels, affording an airtight and thermally efficient shell within which selected active sustainable systems are integrated. A controlled use of overhangs, setbacks and recessed balconies to the southern elevation allow the increased use of glass without fear of excessive solar gain. Heating requirements are provided for by an air source heat pump and solar collectors located in the centre of the roof. The first floor is clad with an innovative mortarless brick system which can be disassembled and reused at the end of the buildings lifespan.

The end result is a 280sqm house that achieves a code for sustainable homes level 4-5 and provides a lifetime home for our clients’ future.

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The Glass House

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