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West Meadow, Canterbury

Words:
Regional Awards Jury

This almost self-sustaining home by Hollaway Studio, although a distinctly contemporary design, blends into rural surroundings to win a 2024 RIBA South East Award

West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
West Meadow. Hufton and Crow

2024 RIBA South East Award

West Meadow, Canterbury
Hollaway Studio for TG Designer Homes

Contract value: £960,000
GIA: 245m2
Cost per m2: £3,918

Despite its unequivocally contemporary design, West Meadow blends seamlessly into its rural surroundings near the Kent village of St Margaret’s at Cliffe. Situated adjacent to the Grade II*-listed manor house Wallets Court in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is an immensely sustainable family home with a remarkable sensitivity to the local vernacular. The site’s exposure to weather was a key generator of the design: a windowless flint wall takes the brunt of strong prevailing winds on one side, while the other main elevation looks out to the garden and fields beyond. Here, rather than a large expanse of glazing, the architect has framed the views. With an essentially linear plan separating the social hub from more intimate spaces, this is a strong concept, beautifully executed – an architectural gem that can be simply drawn with a few lines.

  • West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
    West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
  • West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
    West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
  • West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
    West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
  • West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
    West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
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The jury was impressed by the level of commitment, care, and skill that the architect displayed. Given the site’s location, it had to meet the standards of Paragraph 80 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which allows homes to be built on isolated rural sites only if they display outstanding design qualities and are sensitive to the area’s defining characteristics.

The client had turned to the architect after being unable to find a home that satisfied their desires on both aesthetic and functional levels, including for it to adapt to changes in family dynamics as their children grew older. They are delighted with the result. The plan places the living area – kitchen, dining, and living – in a single space to the right of the entrance, and bedrooms and amenity spaces to the left. There are great spaces throughout the property, some generous like the living area and others more intimate outside the bedrooms.

  • West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
    West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
  • West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
    West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
  • West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
    West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
  • West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
    West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
  • West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
    West Meadow. Hufton and Crow
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Thanks to its high thermal mass and excellent conductivity, the flint wall stabilises the internal temperature of the house, reducing energy usage and costs. The building’s environmental performance is further bolstered by concrete flooring that acts as a heat store, remarkable air-tightness, an air-source heat pump, photovoltaic panels, and rainwater harvesting. Excess energy produced by the solar panels during the day is stored in a battery system for use in the evening. The roof has an overhang that reduces direct sunlight and heat gain. All this results in an almost self-sustaining home.

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 TG Designer Homes
Structural engineer EPS Design
Environmental/M&E engineer Martin Newcombe Wildlife Management Consultancy

 

Credit: Hollaway Studio
Credit: Hollaway Studio
Credit: Hollaway Studio
Credit: Hollaway Studio
Credit: Hollaway Studio
Credit: Hollaway Studio

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