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Work starts on Kirkland Fraser Moor's ‘earth-sheltered’ country house

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Construction has begun on a new 589m² house in rural Hertfordshire, described as ‘an earth-sheltered courtyard building’ by its designer, Kirkland Fraser Moor

The Berkhamsted-based practice relied on paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework – now paragraph 79 of the revised framework – to win consent for the scheme in Aldbury.

The planning clause allows one-off, new-build houses to be constructed in open countryside if they are innovative or ‘of exceptional quality’.

The scheme will be built behind a walled garden, which originally formed part of the estate of the Stocks House. According to the firm, the home will be built from a ‘very simplified pallet of robust materials to reinforce the seamless integration of building and landscape’, which includes flint walling, reconstituted stone, polished concrete, rammed chalk blocks and laminated veneer lumber.

A design statement released by the firm reads: ‘The courtyard model allows for the control of visual impact without the need to restrict occupants’ enjoyment of external amenity or the use of passive solar gain strategies.

’The proposal is formed from a circular double-sided courtyard – a western facing public side including entrance, services and vehicular parking and an eastern facing private side which includes for private formal outdoor amenity. A double glass façade ensures that daylight and winter passive solar gain can be gained at all times of the day. The landscape surrounding the dwelling runs up and over the curved roof form.’

Work is expected to complete next year.

Wg montage plan 01 cp

Wg montage plan 01 cp


Project data

Location Aldbury, Hertfordshire
Type of project Private dwelling
Client Private
Architect Kirkland Fraser Moor
Landscape architect Bowles & Wyre
Planning consultant Rural Solutions
Structural engineer Structure Workshop
M&E consultant Greenguage
Quantity surveyor Trunk
Planning supervisor Trunk
Lighting consultant Nightingale
Main contractor Trade Contract
Start on site 2018
Completion 2019
Contract duration 18 months
Form of contract Construction Management
Total cost Undisclosed

Kirkalnd fraser moor house walled garden

Kirkalnd fraser moor house walled garden

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