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Two passive solar gain houses by Simon Conder Associates

[MANSER MEDAL 2012] Two houses with a sea view nestle into the hillside

Clad entirely in timber, including the flat roofs, and immaculately detailed, they are created out of a strong, simple and confident diagram, which exploits the location and the enviable views.

Built into a 1 in 7 slope, the project is respectful of its neighbours, nestling into the ground so as not to obstruct sea views. This also establishes a simple passive sustainable approach, exploiting thermal mass, solar gain and natural ventilation.
A skilful manipulation of plan and section ensures that all main spaces benefit from the expansive views. On this hillside location, a successful balance is achieved between feeling exposed and contained, allowing occupants to enjoy a strong relationship with what, at times, must be extreme weather conditions, while feeling secure and protected.

With low energy consumption and consistent, elegant detailing and construction, these two hillside houses are great examples of how thoughtful, modest and economical architecture can create a passive, sustainable living environment.

RIBA Regional Award, South West

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