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planning  +  urban design  +  architecture
Prince's Foundation Competition

A+D Studio’s entry into The Prince’s Foundation Young Designers Competition was selected as one of the five finalists. The competition was open to designers aged under forty and the brief was for an affordable two-storey house attached to a flat over a shop with rendered walls, slate roof and sustainable features. The judging panel was chaired by HRH The Prince of Wales.

Extract from original submission text:

Whilst respecting classical proportions and character the architectural concept of this proposal is clearly modern, it is simple but striking with clean, crisp detailing requiring a high degree of craftsmanship to be created properly. Generous triple glazed windows give ample natural light and ventilation. Internally the layout of the house is clean and uncluttered making the space efficient, complying with Lifetime Homes and flexible enough to cope with the demands of a modern growing family. The flat, although designed with separate living and bedrooms, could easily be an open plan studio if desired.

The design of the building with its combination of townhouse, shop and flat makes it very flexible and easy to vary the accommodation. This could be a single larger house, a pair of townhouses or even four individual flats depending on the local market; increasing the height to three storeys introduces further options whilst maintaining the proportions of the elevations. The buildings can be grouped into terraces either along a street or forming a square surrounding gardens or play areas.

Materials used for construction are selected for their sustainability and where possible sourced locally, materials conforming to Cradle to Cradle certification are particularly favoured. High levels of thermal insulation are incorporated by using sheep wool and woodfibre or alternatively hemp or other natural products.

Whilst the building was conceived as being constructed from sustainably sourced cross-laminated timber panels which can be precision manufactured off site thus improving efficiency on site, the design is equally suited to extruded clay blocks or more traditional methods of construction if local materials and skills make this more appropriate. The off-cuts from the timber panels can be used to fabricate shop fittings and fixtures such as shelving and furniture. The external wall finish is lime render with plinth and string course details emphasised with a rougher texture. The roof covering is slate but again can be varied to suit local materials and vernacular. Timber flooring, staircases, windows and doors are constructed from FSC-certified timber using the skills of local craftsman.

The design incorporates many environmentally and economically beneficial systems such as refuse recycling, sustainable drainage systems, rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling; energy is produced by geothermal and air source heat pump and also by photovoltaic and solar-thermal panels. Wildlife and ecological diversity are encouraged by appropriate planting in the gardens and the use of nesting boxes for swallows, swifts and house martins; bat boxes can also be incorporated into the roof.

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