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Work begins on Adam Knibb’s £600k home for climate change scientist

  • 7 Comments

Construction has started on a £600,000 timber-framed home in the Surrey green belt designed by Adam Knibb Architects for a climate change scientist

The low-energy 180m² house in Liphook, which is being built on a steeply sloping site surrounded by a golf course, has been designed to minimise the use of concrete. 

According to the Winchester-based practice, the scheme will replace a dilapidated 1920’s bungalow cottage and feature compacted gravel for strip footings, wool insulation, lime render, local flint, glulam beams and triple glazing.

The gull-wing roof will also feature solar panels and a sedum roof. 

Due to complete early next year, the project also includes a separate detached garage and art studio.

Adam knibb architects sketch site layout

Adam Knibb Architects’ sketch site layout

Architect’s view

The main house has been positioned a significant distance from the road and is shielded by numerous trees, so will have minimal visual impact.

The design splits the proposed dwelling’s functions across two floors. The site’s topography provides an opportunity for the proposal to sit within the landscape. We have anticipated a monolithic base to the design, which gives a solid weighting to the scheme. This robust element is strengthened by the chimney acting as an anchor to the ground.

The lightweight first floor is designed to be a series of timber post and beams – representing the surrounding trees – with either glass or render infills. It disappears into the surrounding sky and woodland, helped by the winged roof structure. This not only gives a minimal edge detail but it also allows clerestory natural light into the main house. A floating stair, acting as a focus point from the main entrance, leads up to the ground floor.

The first floor houses the main functions through a mix of open-plan and private spaces. The western end contains a large master suite which is serviced by an en suite and dressing room. Access to the balcony and views into the tree canopy can be enjoyed from the south side of the building but with divisions within the scheme to create a sense of privacy when breaking off from the more open-plan areas.

The central section of the first floor contains the kitchen, lounge and dining space in an open-plan arrangement. Large windows and doors frame the space to the south, offering dual-aspect views from all points of the room. A balcony is accessible at the front of the property, providing long views down the driveway.

Adam knibb architects view04

Adam knibb architects view04

The lower ground floor provides the bedroom accommodation, separated from the plant and garage areas, which are classed as unhabitable space. While the lower ground floor is sunk into the topography so the design feels bedded into the site, the front (south) aspects give natural light and views.

Externally, the scheme’s concept is driven by creating a heavy flint/stone base at lower ground floor with a lightweight ground-floor element sitting upon it, clad in a contemporary and timeless white render finish. We have provided a sedum/green roof so it blends in with the surroundings. Solar panels are also detailed for the roof to take advantage of an off-grid position. The site is surrounded by hedges, which are predominantly only viewable from Old Thorns golf course.

Along with the main building, a detached garage and art studio are also on the site. The buildings will be nestled in gaps between two copses of trees, the garage has been designed as a simple monopitch sedum/green roof structure. This roof falls towards the driveway so to appear more minimal from the main road entrance.

A double garage and workshop is proposed for the ground floor. At first floor, making use of the space with a simple art studio and office space gives minimal impact. Natural light is provided via windows and skylights.

Materials and form have been designed to match that of the main building, to work as a cohesive pair.

Project data

Location Liphook, Hampshire
Type of project Residential
Client Private
Architect Adam Knibb Architects
Structural engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan
M&E consultant Mesh Energy
Quantity surveyor Hickory Construction
Main contractor Hickory Construction
Start on site date April 2019
Completion date Early Q1 2020
Gross internal floor area 180m²
Annual CO2 emissions 11.89 kgCO2eq/m2/yr


Total cost £600,000 

Adam knibb elevations

Adam knibb elevations

  • 7 Comments

Readers' comments (7)

  • Confusion - the images suggest that the new house is on the site of an existing house, and yet there's no mention of why this couldn't have been refurbished - on the same principles - to achieve a low energy dwelling at a far lower environmental cost (and demonstrate an important point about re-use rather than destroy-and-build).
    Could there be something of a conflict between the desires of the client and architect and the imperatives of climate change? - it doesn't help that the images present the existing house and accretions in quite an attractive light and, dare it be said, more in tune with the site than its replacement.

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  • A climate change scientist, you say?
    I wonder if the global warming hysteria may not be so bad as we were led to believe?

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  • Whilst it might be artistic licence I'm not sure showing a V12 E Type is the bet way to sell this design.....

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  • Should've become a climate scientist by the looks of things 😆

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  • patrick walls

    Robert, you do know Jaguar produce an electric 'E-Type':
    https://www.jaguar.co.uk/about-jaguar/jaguar-classic/authentic-cars/e-type-zero.html

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  • Hi Patrick- I've even seen one! ......but the image is a V12!

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  • Maybe it's fuelled with bullshit.

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