My aim in this project was to create a habitable building that not only fulfilled the brief of 'zero fossil fuel usage', but was in itself an attractive and unique building.
My main motives for design, aside from that lead by technical issues related to fuel, were born from narratives I created for the perspective inhabitants. I wanted the couples retreat to be just that; a retreat - not only from our technological, consuming modern world, but of the natural world too. The building would serve as a place to come back to after time spent exploring the land, to take off muddy items and retire to the fire side. I had an idea of creating increasing 'levels of enclosure', so the building has a large porch to shelter under to allow the inhabitants to sit outside to watch the summer rain roll through the woodland, and lowered windows in places to view the land whilst being inside. My intensions were to link the cottage to the land as much as humanly possible. These notions can be seen, in part, on page one.
Cob is used for the extension, and the shape of such was intended to show the difference between the old and the new, thus making it a 'readable' building. The overhead insulation is sheep's wool, available very locally indeed! The building is taken off of the ground with a course of gravel (from the nearby river bed), then a naturally made hempcrete, then a suspended (for ventilation) wooden floor.
I hope that you can see the thought processes of my project, and enjoy looking at the work I have enjoyed producing. To follow the concept and principles of the project, all of my presentation was hand drawn on recycled, handmade paper from the Plymouth area. This of course does not come across in the digital format.