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Creek Cabin, Suffolk

Words:
Regional Awards Jury

MAP Architecture and Jon Broome Architects overcome planning constraints and flood risk with a highly sustainable and idiosyncratic home to win a 2024 RIBA East Award

Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography

2024 RIBA East Award

Creek Cabin, Suffolk
MAP Architecture and Jon Broome Architects for private client
Contract value: £1.95m
GIA: 287m2
Cost per m2: £6,795

Creek Cabin is a low environmental impact home that celebrates its rural Suffolk setting. The shared passion of client and design team to achieve these aims is evident in all aspects of its design. It is a lifetime home for a couple, with additional space for their children and grandchildren. The setting is exceptional, but also challenging from a planning perspective: it is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, adjacent to a Site of Special Scientific Interest and within a flood risk zone. The jury was utterly beguiled by the way the client and the architect had responded to these challenges to create a one-off, idiosyncratic home. A particular triumph is the creation of a highly sustainable building to Passivhaus standards, very well insulated and with careful management of solar gain, that also offers a sense of openness to the landscape through extensive glazing.

  • Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
    Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
  • Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
    Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
  • Creek Cabin. Credit: Simon Roberts
    Creek Cabin. Credit: Simon Roberts
  • Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
    Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
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The client had lived on the site for 15 years before replacing an existing bungalow at the end of its serviceable life. This long-term engagement has informed design decisions about the siting of the new building, while materials from the original house have been employed in the new construction and landscape, with its bricks reused in the boundary wall which provides an acoustic barrier to the adjacent road.

As the building’s ground floor is designed to be flood resilient, the level above accommodates the primary living spaces and will function as a self-contained refuge should the site be flooded. Above the flood zone, the structure and finishes are primarily timber. The approach to the low-carbon, ecological sourcing of materials is admirably consistent, including the use of sheep’s wool insulation and, wherever possible, natural materials rather than synthetic membranes to achieve stringent airtightness requirements. The clients have embraced the ethos of sustainability in all its facets and it is seen through in multiple details. There is even a thermally isolated ‘petwalk’ through the ground-floor wall, and energy is provided through a biomass boiler supplied with waste products from the timber industry.

  • Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
    Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
  • Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
    Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
  • Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
    Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
  • Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
    Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
  • Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
    Creek Cabin. Credit: David Valinsky Photography
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Internally, the curved timber roofs, which are such a feature of the house’s exterior, create highly characterful spaces in the main living areas. A single living space occupies the primary volume at first-floor level, with large areas of glazing to provide views of the landscape in all directions. The roof itself floats above a triple-glazed clerestory protected from glare and solar gain by external overhangs. Natural light fills the space which is both open to the landscape and homely , characterised by the warmth of its timber floor, ceiling, and joinery.

The jury’s parting impression of Creek Cabin was of a highly unusual sustainable home in which light-filled interiors with unexpected views in varied directions are places of real delight.

See the rest of the RIBA East winners hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com.

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor MS Oakes
Structural engineer Structure Workshop

Credit: MAP Architecture & Jon Broome Architects
Credit: MAP Architecture & Jon Broome Architects
Credit: MAP Architecture & Jon Broome Architects
Credit: MAP Architecture & Jon Broome Architects
Credit: MAP Architecture & Jon Broome Architects
Credit: MAP Architecture & Jon Broome Architects

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