Split-level homes, circular mansions and disused garages are among the properties taking centre stage in this year’s most innovative homes.
In the increasingly competitive property market, architects are turning to novel ways to create houses befitting eco-conscious buyers embracing sustainable lifestyles.
Ten Oaks Farm in Hertfordshire is one such development which encapsulates an eco-friendly design thanks to its circular shape, enabling solar gain throughout the day which significantly reduces energy requirement.
Parc Hadau in south Wales is an £8million project is expected to begin this spring, where residents will pay no energy bills because the development will use renewable energy technologies to generate enough clean electricity to power its homes over the year.
Designers looking to build in urban areas, meanwhile, are being forced to find new ways to accommodate families where space is limited.
Mews House occupies the site of a disused garage and garden – but has been transformed into a family home in an exclusive enclave in upmarket north London.
The two-bedroom dwelling features an open-plan, living area, which faces a rear courtyard. A small niched area in the brickwork allows occupants to enrich the outdoor space with candles, herbs or flowers. The first floor is accessed via a timber-lined stair that is located adjacent to and contrasts with the main structural masonry wall.
Here, MailOnline looks at the homes and developments lauded by experts, paving the way forward for advanced and original designs and creating new ways of living.
Ten Oaks Farm, designed by Kirkland Fraser Moor, encapsulates an eco-friendly design. The shape of the building enables solar gain throughout the day which significantly reduces energy requirement. The building is constructed from natural, low-embodied energy materials that weather well and require little maintenance
Ten Oaks Farm: All the building materials were manufactured by H.G. Matthews, from the brick and lime mortar which make up the façade to the handmade, woodfired clay roof tiles of the main house. The woodfire bricks have been dried using biomass boilers which significantly reduces diesel usage
Parc Hadau is a Sero Homes project – a Welsh start-up business, that ‘wants to re-think housing by building sustainable, innovative, high-quality homes that are friendly to the environment’ Through innovative design and master-planning, the company intend to create exceptional places that are fit for the future
Parc Hadau adding zero carbon homes to the community at Rhydyfro, Pontardawe. Development of the £8m project in Pontardawe in south Wales is expected to begin this spring. The residents will pay no energy bills because the development will use a mixture of renewable energy technologies to generate enough clean electricity to power its homes over the year
Mews House, London: A London mews house by Russell Jones Architects is a lesson in visual, spatial and structural economy. Mews House occupies the site of a disused garage and garden in Highgate, London. The two-bedroom home features an open-plan, living area, which faces a rear courtyard
Mews House, London: The first floor is accessed via a timber-lined stair that is located adjacent to and contrasts with the main structural masonry wall. The mortarcomprises white cement, lime and washed river sand, as well as subtle smoothing of the surface texture, known in Scandinavia as ‘sækkeskuring’. The intention is to create a monolithic appearance without losing the identity of each brick
Solidspace is pioneering a split – level living model that allows residents ‘to be more connected in today’s busy world’. The multi – award winning architects are ‘unlocking the potential of small sites that others may overlook
The Solidspace model arranges spaces for eating, living and working over an open series of half – levels. It is present in all Solidspace housing projects and can be configured in a number of different ways. It is designed to exploit both volume and light, creating modern homes that are spacious and flooded with natural light
The stairs double up as corridors creating a double – height void and the open – plan design takes out redundant walls, allowing light in from all angles. Solidspace ‘believes that adding volume and openness enhances the experience of wellbeing and allows people the flexibility they need for a productive life’
According to research, the Solidspace model promotes ‘a healthy and sustainable lifestyle – natural light helps people lead more productive, happier, healthier and calmer lives and introducing stairs encourages day-to-day fitness. Climbing one flight of stairs equates to around 3% of daily energy expenditure on average
Independent developer Solidspace and Stirling Prize – winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris are behind 81 – 87 Weston Street, a new mixed-use , mid- rise building in Southwark. Eight spacious , mult -level apartments have been stacked in a tessellated arrangement above a ground floor commercial space. The plot is a gap site south of the Thames and close to London Bridge. It was originally occupied by an old warehouse building, which once functioned as Solidspace’s office
McGrath Road in Stratford, east London, comprises a perimeter block of what its architect Peter Barber terms ‘tower houses’ arranged in terraces around a rectangular courtyard. If the footprint seems a straightforward, rational urban response, the design and configuration of the 26 homes represent another step in the inventive approach to residential design that Peter Barber Architects has explored over the dozen or so years since completing the Donnybrook Quarter in nearby Bow
Signal Townhouses – an urban residential development providing high quality homes at relatively high density, designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. The project comprises two brick-built, back-to-back terraces – an arrangement whereby traditional rear gardens are sacrificed and each house instead has an inset front entrance courtyard and first-floor terrace.
Signal Townhouses: The project occupies a brownfield site within the Greenwich Peninsula West Strategic Development Location. The aspiration was to enhance the existing townscape, maximise sunlight and incorporate an enjoyable public realm that encourages community interaction
Creek Road – winner of the Architects’ Choice Award at the Brick Awards 2018, is a mixed-use residential and commercial development in Greenwich, south London. The project, designed by architect BPTW, responds to the local urban character, reinstating a traditional street frontage and reinforcing Creek Road’s importance as a route to the historic centre and World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich
Dujardin Mews – Designed by Maccreanor Lavington and Karakusevic Carson. Built in traditional brick and brickwork construction, the project occupies a brownfield site next to the new Oasis Academy School. The plan is arranged as a dual-sided streetscape with shared landscaping, a children’s play area and a new pedestrian route
Sutherland Road Housing – a fully-affordable housing development in Walthamstow, London, designed by Levitt Bernstein. The aesthetic, employing brick and metal cladding, takes its cue from the industrial context. The street elevation is wrapped in brick with a seemingly random pattern of windows and balconies. Regular holes are punched through to give views of the courtyard while an irregular saw-toothed roof creates a sense of individuality
Sutherland Road Housing: In order to future-proof the homes, the roof spaces within the mews houses were built with staircases and insulation already in place, allowing easy adaptation for the provision of additional bedrooms. The red colour of the mews houses is reiterated in the central courtyard space in the recycled glass paving units and red planting species. A variety of landscaped areas are provided for residents, from formal lawns to a toddler’s play area, and even small timber trains set on inlaid steel tracks
Inside, the apartments are all unique, whilst demonstrating the same approach: they are split across several floors and centred around an open-plan , double-height space which contains the internal circulation and forms the main heart of the home. The apartments interlock vertically and horizontally to allow for both two and three – bedroom layouts
The Solidspace model involves taking infill sites and building mid – rise, arranging th e main social spaces of each residential unit – those for eating, living and working – over half levels o n either side of a double – height space