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Seymour-Smith reveals Passivhaus greenbelt scheme

[FIRST LOOK + PLANS + DATA] Gloucestershire-based Seymour-Smith Architects has revealed plans for a rural Passivhaus dwelling near Maidenhead

The scheme, on a disused agricultural site which has been designated greenbelt land, has been designed to exceed the Passivhaus standards.

The house is arranged with an ‘upside-down hierarchy according to the architect. The main living spaces are on the upper floor and the bedrooms are on the lower lever which is semi-submerged in the landscape.

The project will be submitted for planning within the next two weeks. The proposed five-bedroom house is expected to be considered under NPPF Paragraph 55 which supports ‘outstanding or innovative’ design in rural housing.

Seymour-Smith Hitchambury Farm

The architect’s view

The concept behind our design for the private house at Hitchambury Farm was all about maximising views out into the countryside, while responding sensitively to the rural setting of the Taplow greenbelt.  Our response was to create a striking ‘upside-down’ house, semi-submerged into the landscape to minimise its impact on sensitive viewpoints.

Largely invisible from sensitive public viewpoints, including a Grade I-listed church, the only element of the house which will be visible to the public is a dramatic timber-clad cantilevered box, which extends out from the upper floor to give fantastic views out towards Windsor Castle to the south.

Our aim for the project was to show that designing to the Passivhaus standard (and far beyond in our case) does not mean that you have to end up with four walls and a duo-pitched roof.

Project data

Location Hitchambury Farm, Hitcham Lane, Taplow, Berkshire
Type of project New build one-off house
Client private
Architect  Seymour-Smith Architects 
Landscape and planning consultants
Structural engineer
M&E consultant 
Gross internal floor area




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