Winner of the 2015 West Lancashire Design Awards for Residential and for Sustainability.View Award
Sited within 4 acres of land on the green belt of Ormskirk in West Lancashire, Narrow Lane Farmhouse is a new build replacement dwelling farmhouse conceived for a growing family. Maintaining a farmhouse vernacular in terms of form and in keeping with the historical clustering of farm buildings in the area; the design is a contemporary interpretation of the farm house.
The former cottage was in a poor state and was located dangerously close to the T-junction of the curving Cut Lane and a replacement dwelling was proposed to adjust the shape of the residential curtilage to accommodate a safer driveway and setback from the road.
A series of courtyards and water bodies break up the overall massing; allowing a transitional space between areas. The basic layout hugs the site; giving rise to a secure central courtyard that is flanked by two wings. Entry to the house is transitioned via a full glazed view of a sunken swimming pool looking out onto the expansive view of the cornfields, surrounding hills and countryside. A linear koi pond helps to complete the delineation of the central courtyard; whilst affording the comforting sound of the moving waterfall during the night. The material palette of the envelope is kept earthy; a combination of stone, insulated render, IPE timber slats and glass. The house is kept ‘silent’ on the façade facing the sweeping curve of the road-turning its back; whilst the house opens out with large expanse of glazing on the south-eastern direction of farmland. The interiors of the house is characterised by dramatic double volume spaces with a sky-bridge linking one wing to the next.
The project prides itself on exploiting a vast number of sustainable measures in the new build.
Ground source heat pump, low e argon-filled double-glazing, SUDS for rain and grey water and walkable photo-voltaic panels are incorporated along with utilising air-tight SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) as the main construction method. The incredibly air-tight SIP panels were pre-fabricated off site in Ireland and assembled on site over a few weeks to include for the main structural frames of the building. A mechanical ventilation heat recovery system is also integrated to reduce heat loss whilst an external blinds system helps to reduce any excess solar gain. About two-thirds of the land is dug down to accommodate the ground source loops and the heat generated helps to run the heated swimming pool through-out the year.
The swimming pool is both a visual and physiological focus for the family; the children look forward to jumping into the pool when they get home from school every day and is incredibly well-used and loved.
The rest of the farmland within the site is consciously retained as a working farm with a local farmer working the fields throughout the crop cycles whilst the farmhouse itself accommodates the lives of the family- giving rise to a healthy and sustainable co-existence. The project is imagined as a contemporary eco-farmhouse with working farmland retaining the historical clustering of the farm buildings within the green belt.
The project was published in The Idealist in August 2017:The Idealist – Narrow Lane Farmhouse