The Old Post Office

East Sussex, 2021 - ongoing

Our brief was for a compact three bedroom house that would have a minimal impact on the environment in both its construction and it’s use. This proposal responds to the complex demands of a 21st century rural family house and the long term flexibility of home working. This not a commercial development and is driven by a commitment to support an initiative to apply sustainable technology to small affordable houses; which in the past has had a tendency to only be applied to large luxury bespoke designs. Such a project will become an exemplar for other like minded people to invest in a sustainable future.

The design is generated by the following considerations: Compact footprint to minimise ecological and visual impact, as well as heat loss. Maximum natural light to all rooms. Minimum circulation. Sympathetic forms to the immediate surrounding buildings. No overlooking of adjacent properties. Plan form allows for prefabrication of the main structural elements. Early sketches, which led to the
final proposal, show miniaturized versions of classical villa forms. In this adaptation what would have been the grand central space becomes a miniature courtyard, an extension of the living spaces.

This proposal concentrates on three ways of reducing the environmental damage caused by the materials used in its construction; Locally sourced materials like clay tiles and bricks. Recycled materials like the crushed glass ground slab insulation. Grown materials like the timber framing and the hemp insulation.

Design Team: Nic Pople, Sophie Woodhatch
Planning Consultant: Speer Dade