Village sunlight

Masterplan for village extension, Hampshire

If a building were to be designed according to the functional requirements of a programme, both quantitative and qualitative, then a ‘true’ and ‘natural’ architecture, an architecture without rhetoric would result.

It follows that if this methodology truly mimicked the unconscious generative process of the vernacular, the resultant buildings would automatically display the generic ‘natural’ characteristics of indigenous structures. 

 Alison Smithson about the Smithson’s Sugden House in Watford 1956

One familiar and contemporary “generative process” is an increasingly clear relating of the needs of an individual to the fate of mankind, local cause and global effect. The village setting of Bishops Waltham is ideal, but so too is the idea of a village itself, a model collective with universal relevance. Nowadays, through new technologies, it can be simultaneously a pastoral ideal and a modern accommodation, fully connected to the whole world. This bifocal value system is key to aspirations of the design savvy baby-boomer age group.

The site is subdivided into a variety of plots arranged as terraces that respond to a modified terrain that mediates between the steep bank and the flatter part of the site connecting the field to the village.

All in common the houses face the same way, like sunflowers, making best use of their macro geographical location with south-facing photovoltaic roofs at optimum 35o pitch. Each individually occupies its own distinctive micro landscape forming between them a slipped pattern of interlocking individual gardens with exaggerated folksiness in their rural settings and contemporary cottage iconography. No two houses relate to each other in the same way.

Each house is offered in a basic affordable format with upgrade opportunities to enhance their “quantitative and qualitative programme” and so their value. These improvements, including for example, additional bedrooms and bathroom in the roof space, additional south facing PV canopy and bedroom balconies or the full Mirador addition (south facing conservatories popular in northern Spain) can be installed prior to purchase like extras in a car model range or as add-ons for the future.

Service: Creative Discipline

Location: Salford Lancs

Client: Self-build baugruppen

Cost: Undisclosed

Areas: XX m2

Dates: XX

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