Type: New Build House

Client: Private

Location: Camden, London

Status: Planning ‘22

Ash Tree House

A low carbon new build detached house in the Hampstead Conservation Area. The house takes its inspiration from the dramatic topography of Sandy Heath, and the bucolic surroundings.

Situated on a vacant plot along an unmade road, the house steps back from the road to create a courtyard garden around a towering ash tree. Set into the hillside, the L-shaped house encircles a densely planted lower garden. The sloping roofs respond both to the topography of the site, and the prevailing character of surrounding buildings. A green roof to the lower building ensures a green outlook from the upper level, and a sloped clerestory to the upper roof affords a view from the garden through the building to the canopy of trees on Sandy Heath.

The upside-down house is arranged over two single storey volumes, with living spaces at entrance level and bedrooms on the lower ground floor. The living room opens up onto a generous terrace, which frames long views towards West Heath. Lower level bedrooms have windows that frame views to the lush garden.
Low carbon in construction and in use, the house has an innovative palette of regenerative materials. Walls will be made from earth blocks and wood fibre insulation, and lime rendered externally. The timber structure is expressed inside and out. The retaining wall, made from earth bags, will reuse excavated spoil on site, and will be planted to create a vertical extension to the garden. With well insulated walls, air-source heat pumps and MVHR systems, the house will be low carbon in use.

Structural Engineer - Simple Works

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