8 February 2011

Simon Winstanley Architects - The Houl House

Simon Winstanley Architects have another award winning green house to add to their portfolio. The Houl, in southern Scotland, is not only net "zero carbon", but an impressive open-plan modern statement to boot.

The house is sited in a natural concave area of hillside facing principally west along the contours to enjoy the spectacular landscape setting of the river Ken valley and the ridges of the Rhinns of Kells hills opposite.

The intention was to create a contemporary single storey "long house" which is recessive in the landscape, sustainable in its construction, very low in energy consumption, and aiming for zero net emissions of carbon dioxide for all energy use in the house.

The design uses lightweight but highly insulated steel and timber frame construction, clad in cedar weatherboarding allowed to weather to a natural silver grey colour. The roof finish is pre-weathered grey standing seam zinc. Windows and external doors are triple glazed high performance timber, painted grey. All
insulation levels are to Passiv Haus standards.

The slope of the roof of the main living accommodation follows the slope of the hillside, with the rear roof meeting the main roof at a shallower angle to allow morning sunlight to penetrate the centre of the house.
The entrance to the house is sited on the north east side of the house under the cover of the roof to provide shelter from the prevailing wind. The principal rooms are situated along the contour of the site to enjoy the views across the valley to the west. The ancillary spaces are generally to the rear.
The house is net "zero carbon" by using very high levels of insulation, minimising air infiltration heating using an air source heat pump with a "whole house heat recovery ventilation system", and generating electricity using a wind turbine.


Photos: Andrew Lee - www.andrewleephotographer.com


Anonymous said...

Definitely a LOVELY house and taking advantage of the gorgeous location. But... it's the wrong way around; keeping the store / workshop / carport where it is one only needs to horizintally invert the design to enter stright into the living area and kitchen, with bedroom furthest away. No need to traverse the long corridor to get to the activity center of the house. Odd...

Inverted it works perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that the best view is to the lake, which could be why the living area is on that end of the house.
Great house!

aswinstanley said...

The corner with the living accommodation looks down the valley. The master bed takes advantage of the other double aspect views up the valley and the other public rooms are also on that side of the building to get the view of the hills. The 'service' spaces are all on the other side which face the sloping hillside - cut into the rock. The long corridor is actually a nice separation and leading entrance to the main living area. Its my fathers house so I'm not bias but he loves it!

Marie said...

what an AMAZING view from that piano