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Featherstone Young designs sloping stone house in rural East Midlands

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The 347m² house has two wings enclosing a central courtyard, one topped by a folded green roof rising out of the ground, giving the illusion that ’the field has been lifted up and the house slid in beneath’

The site is within a conservation area and straddles a settlement boundary on the edge of a village. In planning, Featherstone Young used a two-stage approach to demonstrate how strategically building new housing within villages could prevent linear development sprawl along roads. 

Stonecrop brotherton lock 01

The main wing has been built out of textured dry-stone walling, using local Clipsham limestone, chosen to give good thermal mass and designed with minimal openings, to provide climatic protection on the exposed site. The second wing is built from the same stone but with a smooth ashlar finish and larger windows. Designed for guests, this second wing is only opened up and heated when required. 

The interiors of the five-bedroom house include a cedar-clad living space with a curved ceiling rearing up to double height and a glazed south façade. This overlooks a small domestic garden and wildflower meadow to the south, while the courtyard to the north allows for good cross-ventilation. 

Stonecrop jamesbrittain 039

Architect’s view

Releasing overlooked sites such as these helps keep villages compact and distinct, and kicks against the usual housing development we see sprawling into the countryside. This, coupled with the house’s two-wing strategy, makes for a more sustainable approach to building in rural settings.

Sarah Featherstone, director, Featherstone Young

Fy stonecrop gf plan

Ground floor plan

Client’s view

We love the combination of open space and discrete private areas, the use of different levels and the relationship with garden and meadow. The house is full of unexpected views and surprises, and the external character changes dramatically from every viewpoint. Every day we enjoy the effect of the contoured faceted cedar ceiling which rises and folds as you enter the house.

Matthew and Nicky Lyttelton

Fy stonecrop section


Project data 

Start on site 2011
Completion 2014 (Phase 1: House); 2017/18 (Phase 2: Landscaping)
Gross internal floor area 347m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 467m²
Form of contract JCT Intermediate
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Featherstone Young
Client Matthew and Nicky Lyttelton
Structural engineer Conisbee 
M&E consultant In-gine (formerly Michael Popper Associates)
QS Burke Hunter Adams
Landscape architect John Dejardin
Main contractor John Perkins Projects Ltd and Peter Wallis
CAD software used Vectorworks
Annual CO2 emissions 4,100kg

Fy stonecrop diagram and 3d

Concept diagram

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Given the architect's view, it would be interesting to see a location plan of the house in its village context.

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