New Dwelling House at Grange View
Stuart Davidson Architecture

The client's brief was to create a contemporary low energy, accessible dwelling within a former walled garden, to nestle into the exisiting landscape. Due to the limited mobility of the client, the dwelling had to be designed to allow for full accessbility without being obvious, as the site is surrounded on three sides with mature trees and a public road to the fourth – the use and deflection of light was paramount. The site required to have two primary elevations, with the formal public elevation designed to reflect the Victorian gabled frontage of the surrounding properties, using modern materials to put a subtle twist on the design. The ground floor has been designed to form a frree-flowing family space, allowing each area to retain its own identity but remove access barriers which would be an issue to the client's mobility.

The overall structure was carefully planned, with a main steel frame to the central core interacting with a timber structure infill to allow reduced and simplified movement on site. Large flowing open plan areas were created, divided by specifically located partitions or doors which are DDA compliant. The structure around the feature stair was formed to be able to support any future chairlifts and the first floor pre-trimmed to future proof a possible future lift. The large 'living hub' area, sub divided by lowered feature ceiling area, ensures that the MHVR system is not compromised and controls airflow and optimum ventilation without structured barriers. The central 'hub' was designed as the central living space with positioning and balancing expanses of glazing to the area at high level, with overhanging sections to lower levels, ensuring maximum light was afforded.

The master bedroom located directly off the 'hub' area benefits from a vaulted ceiling and direct access to the garden terrace. To ensure the energy use of the dwelling was reduced to a minimum, and for the future, the dwelling was over insulated by 25%. The overall sustainability and lifetime worth of all elements were fittingly considered through the design process. The benefit of each material was scored to ensure the benefits outweighed any negative in relation to a number of factors, such as embodied energy, production values and transport, with the overall aim to construct and finish the property with long term durable materials. The addition of a PV solar array to the southerly facing roof designed to supplement main demand and large rooflights and expanses of specifically positioned glazing to sheltered areas, means that the demand on artificial lighting is significantly reduced. 


Judges' comments

This new dwelling is an excellently laid out scheme with exact brief design and the aspiration of lifetime home standards – it is flexible enough for anyone to use it. There is a fine attention to detail and is thoroughly thought through to address the user's needs now and in the future. Within the design, the maximum use of solar gain has been utilised without overheating. This is a showcase for demonstrating how technology has supported the design, making it an outstanding winner for the Alan King Award.