Rock House
a striking modern house on a steep rocky site

Located on a steep rocky site, at the end of a lane, at the top of a hill, this multi-levelled new build house maximises space, frames views and connects into the limited garden through its fun, playful, modern design.

Responding to the site, context and orientation, the building has a subtle curve following the road edge and a dramatic cantilever to contrast the rock and capture the spectacular hill top view. The house is complex with accommodation over 4 levels and connection to the changing outside ground levels on three of those floors. A lower basement plant room, wine cellar and storage room is accessed from the garden or secret stair from the house. Entry to the house happens above this level via a steel ramp with integral handrails and planters. This lower ground floor accommodates entrance points, utility and the bedroom spaces allowing the upper ground plan to have a clear open layout for the primary living and kitchen areas and connection to the upper garden. The tiny top floor accommodates a home office and guest room. Parking is cleverly located under the primary living floor where it bridges between the rock and lower ground zone.

The house is flooded in light and the spaces continually connect to the landscape with views of the rocks, garden and dramatic hill top panorama.

A steel frame was key to the delivery of this building to create the vast cantilever, bridging structure, gentle curving form and integration into the complex ground levels alongside reducing build time and impact on site. The lower building is clad in natural whin stone from the site excavations, to blend this lower section into the rocky context. The upper cantilevered box is clad in boards which blend from darker shades up to lighter colours at the top, reflecting the trees behind as they thin out and disperse into sky.

The house is very energy efficient and features renewable technologies including solar PV panels and ground source heat pump with multiple Tesla battery storage units, as well as having heavily insulated walls, high performance triple glazed windows, underfloor heating, a mechanical ventilation system and a green roof seen from the upper drive and garden.

We designed and project managed the delivery of this new house building on our award winning track record of delivering high quality site responsive designs in complicated situations.

Photography by Douglas Gibb Photography + ataSTUDIO

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