Loyn & Co Architects, Forest of Dean, 2014


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The house sits on a gentle slope 

Charles Hosea     Download Original

  • The house sits on a gentle slope    
  • The living space is divided by a large inset court punched into the broad roof    
  • Grass from the nearby field has been laid on the building    
  • Outside the house, nature remains omnipresent    
  • The house is an intense backdrop for light    
  • The building is cast in concrete – floors, walls and ceilings    
  • The rugs and furniture offer contrast from the concrete carapace    
  • Kitchen, dining and living spaces lie to the east of the large inset court    
  • The external windows are triple-glazed    
  • The clients are established artists    
  • Cast in situ leaf detail    
  • Concrete pathway detail    
  • Location plan    
  • Outhouse plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Outhouse section    
  • West elevation    
  • East and south elevations    
  • Outhouse concept development axo drawing    
  • Outhouse concept development site plans and elevations    
  • Outhouse development drawing    
  • Roof site plan development watercolour    
  • East and west elevations    
  • South elevation    
  • Entrance perspective watercolour    
  • Landscape watercolour    
  • Detail section    

In this single-storey dwelling embedded into a gentle sloping, south-faced wooded hillside in the Forest of Dean is an accessible and flexible home, built for two artists.

Each courtyard provides a welcome, sheltered space and, along with a series of rooflights, allows light and air to penetrate deep into the floor plan. A gallery runs from east to west, dividing the live from the work, allowing a degree of separation and privacy to the north-lit buried artists’ studios.

Loyn & Co has laid a heavy, broad concrete lid over the site, capped with grass harvested from the adjacent meadow, forming part of the terrain. It opens out to the view with all supports set behind glass and black-stained timber panels so that it appears to float. Some 50m long, this concrete band provides a simplicity and abstract quality that belies the intricacies of the plan beyond.

The building is cast in concrete – floors, walls and ceilings – with relief offered only by the black insertions of the rebuilt ghosts of the former buildings on the site, and dark stone slabs along the aisle. As one arrives from the east, the house appears as a floating concrete lid, open beneath as a carport with a box set beneath (a rebuilt relic in black concrete which acts as a cold store) and a few dark stained boarded panels providing a sense of enclosure. The front door appears deep beneath the roof, and a dramatic view is gained along the entire length of the house and out the other end. From the entrance, a second mysterious closed form greets the visitor, only revealing itself as a court at the far end where sliding screens reveal a water garden within – this is the second rebuilt relic of the former buildings on the site. The living space is divided again by a large inset court punched into the broad roof, open to the view and the sky so that kitchen, dining and living spaces lie to the east of this court, with two bedrooms to the west.

The project has also surpassed all environmental targets set within the clients’ brief, achieving an EPC rating of A Plus following a 96/100 score and an actual annual building emissions rate of 3.44kg/m². The building achieves its credentials through a combination of a highly insulated fabric, including elements below 0.1W/m²K; an inverted green roof seeded from the adjacent field, with huge thermal mass potential; triple glazing; and technological systems such as photovoltaic solar panels, solar thermal panels, a ground source heat pump and MVHR. In addition a low-energy LED lighting scheme has been specified throughout.


  • Begun: May 2013
  • Completed: Dec 2014
  • Floor area: 490m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Tender date: 2010
  • Procurement: Design & Build
  • CO2 Emissions: 3.44kg/m2/year
  • Address: Forest of Dean, Forest of Dean, GL16, United Kingdom

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