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North House, North Cheshire, by Roger Stephenson Architects

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[Images + drawings + credits] Private residence in the heart of a conservation area

The house is surrounded by Victorian villas in the heart of a conservation area. The site is large with stunning south facing-gardens. Our client’s brief was for a modern, sustainable house tailored to family needs.

The sloping site allowed us to add a large two-storey brick volume which, when nestled into the hillside, becomes single-storey and largely concealed from the road. This allowed us to meet expectations for large open-plan internal spaces and large areas of glazing. On top of this a rendered block accommodates bedrooms.

Pre-application consultations with English Heritage and CABE resulted in positive reviews of the proposals, but unfortunately the local authority planning committee refused the plans. Our clients were dedicated to the design and appealed the decision by full public inquiry.

We went on to work together through an intensive period of detailed design with particular consideration for the dynamic of the ‘industrial’ aesthetic and sustainability. Our role often differed to that of our usual domestic commission as we researched and developed instruments for which there were no prototypes.

It is a true collaboration between client and architect.

Roger Stephenson, director, Roger Stephenson Architects

Building profile

North/south aspect
Whole-house ventilation with heat recovery
Living room 42m2
Kitchen 31m2
Bedroom 1 54.5m2
Bedroom 2 27.2m2
Bedroom 3 25m2
Bedroom 4 19.5m2
Garage for 2 cars, 2 bicycles
External space 0.3ha


Start on site January 2008
Completion January 2010
Gross internal floor area 560m2
Form of contract JCT IFC 2005 with contractor’s design
Total cost £2,100,000
Cost per m2£3,750
Client Private client
Architect Roger Stephenson Architects, carried out as Stephenson Bell Architects
Structural engineer Deakin Walton
Main contractor Eric Wright Construction

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