The hidden house is a breath taking one off private home set in the heart of Egerton, Bolton. With the initial feedback from the Local Authority not being positive as the site is virgin land and has never been developed the Local Authority set us the task of designing a unique, one off, home that could be ‘seen but not seen’. With this seemingly impossible brief we set out trying to design an exceptional home that could be seen to appreciate the design but also hidden to not impact on the openness of the green belt. After 3 months of designs we finally developed a design that was built into the hill side accommodating 4 pavilion style buildings that are positioned to take in the surrounding views and solar gains.
This innovative house will be SDA first paragraph 55 designed home, Paragraph 55 of the NationalPlanning Policy Framework is a special policy that allows homes of exceptional design to be built in open countryside. The policy states that planning consent may be granted if the proposals represent ‘exceptional quality or innovative design’, this type of planning approval is one of the highest test in the land with only 1 in 6 chance for these types of applications being approved. The approach to this project is to create a home that is both exceptional in its design but also innovative in its technologies, therefore covering both policy points. The project has now into its 3rd year since being commission and is looking to be submitted in late 2016.
The pavilions addressed the ‘unseen’ part of the council criteria, for the seen element we decided to design an agricultural ruin on top of the house which encompassed random dry stone walling and reclaimed timbers, this then settled the ‘seen’ element of the local authorities brief. The local authority were impressed by the design, the interior scheme and the presentation material. The local councillors thought it demonstrated ‘what can be achieved with the right mind set.’
This project symbolises that SDA Architecture overcomes the most restricted design and planning challenges regardless of how difficult they may first appear.