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Sort Trae, South Yorkshire

Words:
Regional Awards Jury

Two charred timber boxes set into a South Yorkshire hillside make a sustainable, adaptable, home and studio in HEM Architects, Susi Clark & Marc Medland Architect’s 2024 RIBA Yorkshire Award-winning design

Sort Trae. Dug Wilders
Sort Trae. Dug Wilders

2024 RIBA Yorkshire Award

Sort Trae, South Yorkshire 
HEM Architects, Susi Clark & Marc Medland Architect
for Susi Clark
Contract value: Confidential
GIA: 170m2 

Sort Trae sits in a rural setting overlooking the rolling South Yorkshire countryside. The brief for its design required it to be ‘relevant and sustainable’. The owner, who developed the initial concept, wanted a house that could change to meet their needs as they grew older and had minimal impact on the stunning surrounding landscape and the wider environment. The architect responded by designing what is essentially a pair of charred black timber boxes cut into the hillside – one a two-storey house and the other a single-storey studio space – floating above a low sandstone wall. These minimal structures reference agricultural buildings and help blend the project with the landscape. This simplicity is carried through to the interiors where carefully crafted detailing and use of space create a home for life that is easily adaptable and, being ultra-low energy, affordable to run. Designed to Passivhaus standards, the buildings not only respect their setting but have a minimal impact on it. The ultra-low energy approach uses the thermal mass of the concrete retaining walls and south facing triple-glazed walls to manage internal temperatures and create a comfortable, highly efficient environment. 

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Accessed at the upper level, the two-storey house straddles the level changes across the steeply sloping site. The other element, the single-storey studio space, is nestled into the landscape. Both buildings have full height triple-glazed windows facing out over the countryside to exploit the amazing setting while also preserving neighbours’ views across the idyllic surroundings.

The main house is designed around a central dry-stone wall with the staircase on one side and housing storage on the other, keeping rooms simple and uncluttered. At the upper, entrance level, the two bedrooms sit either side of the stair with panoramic views. This allows level access to the bedrooms should that be needed in the future. On the lower floor, the wall separates an open plan living and dining space with both opening onto an external south-facing terrace and pergola structure that can be planted to provide shading in the summer. 

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The jury felt that the use of natural, local materials and elegant detailing has created calm, beautifully lit space in which the owner can live, work, and enjoy the stunning setting as their needs and the world around them change.

See the rest of the RIBA Yorkshire 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 Terry Huggett Developments
Structural engineer JAM Structural Design
Environmental/M&E engineer Green Building Store
Sustainability Etude

 

Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.
Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.
Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.
Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.
Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.
Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.
Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.
Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.
Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.
Sort Trae, HEM Architects, Susi Clark and Marc Medland Architect.

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