Seven low-carbon dwellings on a small site in St. Ives.
Site plan showing the series of interlinked communal spaces
between the street and the recreation ground to the rear.
The basic house type exploits a split-level section in
order to create spatial interest and generosity.
The south-facing roof pitch housing a solar panel installation.
View from the rear – the houses border onto an existing recreation
ground. Shared allotments mediate between this public space and
the private walled gardens belonging to each house.
View from the street – the ensemble of buildings create a parking court
at the front of the site which engages with the broad landscape of the road.
Olive Green Developments
Warm, Cyrill Sweet
5th Studio are worked on a project to develop 7 low-carbon dwellings on a small site in St. Ives. The houses were to be built to the extremely rigorous Passivhaus standards, representing best practice for low-energy dwellings within continental Europe, and to meet Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Located on the outskirts of the town, the site was occupied by a single bungalow, and bordered onto a public open space at its rear. In the context of proposals for a new guided bus route, which would greatly improve the public transport accessibility of this location, the scheme proposed a development of much greater density.
Taking the terraced house – an urban typology – as its starting point, the design explored how to integrate a scheme of this density within its distinctly ordinary and sub-urban context, through its configuration and architectural language.
The ensemble of buildings structured a series of communal spaces between front (street) and rear (recreation ground) – with each house afforded a small and highly private walled garden / patio space, but benefiting from access to communal allotments and views to the open space beyond. The houses were expressed as a ‘big roof’ – a taut skin of timber cladding, flush glazing, and integrated photovoltaics – sitting on top of a brick plinth which forms the private patios to the rear of each house.