House in Gloucester

House in GloucesterHouse in GloucesterHouse in GloucesterHouse in Gloucester

Private Client


Arup – M&E
Alistair W Baldwin Associates – Landscape

This is a dramatic site with commanding views to the west and south. There is a significant north-south fall along the length of the site.

The design is for a house that sits in the landscape as unobtrusively as possible, with wildlife and nature all around, where the house becomes a sanctuary blending into its surroundings.

The proposed building introduces innovative technology into both its form and construction. The technology combines the best of modern engineering with traditional craft skills through the innovative use of timber and stone.

The elliptical roof form of the main house is based on a timber grid shell. This is an innovative structural form in itself. It is normally restrained at its edges by a large steel ring beam; which has been the case in other examples of this technology being used. However, a novel structural concept has been developed which sits the roof on a series of 2 storey high verendeel trusses which are linked together at the eaves level by a horizontal laminated timber ring beam made up on site. This has eliminated the need to bring large steel components onto site and is an experimental technique which has engendered interest from the academic community.

The form of the principal elements of the building is derived from the timber gridshell roof structure. This natural form produces an organic arrangement of spaces which flow together.

A key element of the concept is that the building will be constructed from the site itself - sandstone from beneath the site and larch available locally and from the site itself. The choice of timber is accompanied by an overall environmental strategy: rigorous application of bio-climatic principles; thermal isolation of the casing, double glazing with low emission, salvaging of rainwater for toilet cistern, active development of solar energy and passive solar design.

This sensitive approach provides a building form that with the use of high quality natural materials will weather well and sympathetically.