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The Mile House, West Sussex

Words:
RIBA Regional Jury

It was the architect’s own sustainable house that won Meloy Architecture and Design the commission for this Passivhaus home – which netted the 2024 RIBA South East Client of the Year Award

The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
The Mile House. Carlotta Luke

2024 RIBA South East Award
2024 RIBA South East Client of the Year

The Mile House, West Sussex
Meloy Architecture and Design for private client

Contract value: Confidential 
GIA: 274m2

This house sits on an elevated position in the South Downs National Park overlooking a seasonally changing floodplain. Built to Passivhaus standards, it replaces an earlier house. The architect was selected because of his own sustainable house, and there is clearly a respectful bond between him and the client. The new house is a collection of three wings, positioned to maximise views from each while avoiding a negative impact on neighbours’ outlooks. Externally, a restrained palette of materials responds to both the modern buildings nearby and the historic village centre. The planning and massing are carefully considered, and the jury liked the simplicity of the finishes, which helps to focus attention on the building’s natural setting.

  • The Mile House. MA+D
    The Mile House. MA+D
  • The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
    The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
  • The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
    The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
  • The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
    The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
1234

Rather than standing on the same footprint as its predecessor, the new house occupies a different position to improve the view for the neighbour across the road. A single-storey wing containing the main living areas and primary bedroom, with double-height ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glazing, is placed at the edge of the slope overlooking the nature reserve. Offset behind it for further marshland views, a two-storey wing contains the entrance, circulation spaces, support areas, offices and further bedrooms at the upper level. A smaller single-storey wing serving as a music room completes the composition.

Local Fittleworth stone forms the base of the two-storey wing, while vertically aligned Sussex oak boarding clads the rest of the walls. The tiled roofs feature a flattened ridge with dark grey zinc metalwork to conceal an 8kW array of photovoltaic panels. Internally, a polished concrete floor, made using ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cement, also acts as a heat sink to mitigate temperature fluctuations.

  • The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
    The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
  • The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
    The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
  • The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
    The Mile House. Carlotta Luke
  • The Mile House. MA+D
    The Mile House. MA+D
  • The Mile House. MA+D
    The Mile House. MA+D
12345

The client describes the architect as ‘a joy to work with’, adding: ‘We chose him because we shared his determination to put environmental considerations and sustainability at the top of the agenda, but also because we loved the simplicity, clarity and modesty of his design approach and his commitment to making the house fit seamlessly into its beautiful natural surroundings.’

See the rest of the RIBA South 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 Novala
Structural engineer Simon Bastone Associates
Environmental/M&E engineer Alan Clarke
Planning consultant Dowsett Mayhew Planning Partnership

 

Credit: Meloy Architecture and Design
Credit: Meloy Architecture and Design
Credit: Meloy Architecture and Design
Credit: Meloy Architecture and Design
Credit: Meloy Architecture and Design

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