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Grain House


West Sussex




Planning Approved


An environmental family home in a dramatic site

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

The force driving the Grain House is the client’s 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 79 (formerly Paragraph 55) of the NPPF as the yardstick with which to define the worthiness of the scheme.


Designing the form of the house

Studio Bark organised the house in two parts.  Consequently, it allows the elderly parents privacy and a degree of separation from the rest of the household. This part of the home, known as the ‘Annex’ will be fully accessible and have its own library and study. The relationship between the two parts of the house is key to the success of the architecture. Therefore it allows three generations to enjoy living together whilst not compromising their individual needs.

Studio Bark considered the natural topography to create the building form, so the views from the house and further afield are in connection with the nature around. Passers-by will experience the building as a piece of land art. As a result, Studio Bark designed the Grain House to be viewed in a unique setting.


How to build an environmental family home

The walls are to be constructed from the world’s first carbon negative building block, invented and manufactured by UK company Lignacite. The environmental credentials of the block are impressive. They are 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. Thus 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. Therefore, Atmos Lab worked as an integral part of the design team. They have produced ongoing environmental calculations on an iterative basis using state of the art parametric processes.


What is Paragraph 80?

The Grain House was built under Paragraph 79 (now Paragraph 80) of the National Planning Policy Framework. Find out more about our work with Paragraph 80 homes here, and get in touch if you think we can help you with your isolated home building project.

Explore our Paragraph 80 approved homes here.

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