Building over an original rustic farmhouse surrounded by a serene rural landscape and adding a modern touch to this residential building caught in between eras, the creative team of Invisible Studio re-imagined the details of the 2,368 square feet Starfall Farm. Located in Bath and North East Somerset, UK, this interesting residence took shape from the remains of an old farmhouse altered to be suited for a contemporary lifestyle, but keeping its charming country side intact. The challenges defined this project, guiding the team towards transforming the “hideously extended, but originally very pretty farmhouse in St Catherine’s valley” into a welcoming mixture of rustic and modern styles. An extension made mostly of materials from the demolished barns allows owners Xa Sturgis and Anna Benn to enjoy more of the landscape than they would have before this extensive renovation.
The designer shares his inspiration: “At the time, I was rather obsessed by the rawness in Sandy Wilson’s Scroope Terrace extension in Cambridge in which I was working – I love all the concrete benches and so on in that building. Starfall has a very simple asymmetric section that allows the morning light to penetrate deep into the building and flood it with light. For me, the project was also a way of reconciling all the thermal deficiencies of Moonshine, which is far too lightweight – Starfall is ruthlessly thermally massive, and with it incredibly efficient. As ever, Kris Eley helped me reconcile all that, Tinyue Liu drew it beautifully and Structures 1 engineered it effortlessly. Thanks again to Peter Clegg for recommending me for the project.”
These days, a building doesnt just have to look good, it should ideally be good for the environment too. A great example of sustainability spliced with style from the past few years is the M&S store at Cheshire Oaks Retail Park in Ellesmere Port, designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson.
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.