While I think it is a rotten trick to join a baiting crowd, James Gorst's replies to the well-reasoned arguments of his critics of Whithurst Park Cottage in West Sussex beg many questions (AJ 6/13.12.01).
If condensation has not yet occurred on the inner surfaces of the solid ring beam and columns, this can only be because the heating is run at such a temperature as to ensure these surfaces are maintained above dew point. This means that in cold weather, heat is radiated at a great rate to the outside. Gorst says his gutter is insulated (though there is space available, it is tiny). But the rain water pipe(s) are directly below the attic floor, so there can be no insulation to these potentially freezing pipes located within a heated zone.
Though the aesthetic inspiration may have come from Finland, there was clearly no study of Scandinavian detailing.
Kate Macintosh, Finch Macintosh Architects, Winchester, Hampshire