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Grain House


West Sussex








The Grain House is a multi-generational family home and a truly landscape driven piece of architecture. The sculptural form and orientation of the monolithic walls takes influence from historic ox-ploughed ‘ridge and furrow’ field patterns, as well as the ridge and valley land forms that characterise the area.

The force driving the Grain House is the clients’ desire to create a profound and unique piece of architecture in a beautiful setting. The proposal seeks to create something highly personal and sensitive, using paragraph 55 of the NPPF as the yardstick with which to define the worthiness of the scheme.


The Form

The house is organised in two parts, allowing the elderly parents privacy and a degree of subtle separation from the rest of the house. This part of the home, known as the ‘Annex’ will be fully accessible and have its own library and study so that the parents can have private space when desired. The relationship between the two parts of the house is key to the success of the architecture – allowing three generations to enjoy living together whilst not compromising their individual needs.

Views of the home from key points within the boundary and from further afield have been considered in relation to natural topography and building form. Passers-by will experience the building as a piece of land art, designed to be viewed in this unique setting.


The Environment

The walls are to be constructed from the world’s first carbon negative building block, invented and manufactured by UK company Lignacite. Whilst the environmental credentials of the block are impressive, the block typically has little to differentiate it visually from a regular concrete block. Studio Bark have begun a series of enquiries and meetings with the company to develop a cut-face block for external use revealing its aggregate make-up – a first for this product.


A Collaborative Approach

The design has evolved in collaboration with environmental consultants Atmos Lab, in response to studies of solar paths, drainage and views. Working as an integral part of the design team, Atmos Lab have produced ongoing environmental calculations on an iterative basis using state of the art parametric processes.

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