Passivhaus brings life
to a walled garden

Planning for this project was won under Paragraph 79, the Country House Clause, with a design taking inspiration from the surroundings.

The overall design is simple and clean. An elegant brick front complements the brickwork of the old garden wall and a discrete front door opening references the gate in the garden wall.

Further down, an oriel window breaks through, hinting at what is behind. Elsewhere, external surfaces are dark render, designed to recede visually in deference to the surrounding garden.

Tucked within, the house has a glass roofed courtyard at its centre, a winter garden flooding light into the interior. Spaces are arranged around this central core so the building functions both as a home and a gallery for our clients, great collectors of pottery and art, with spaces to display and curate.

Comfortable and serene interior spaces are punctuated with tactile and textured materials: reclaimed terracotta, rough sawn oak and clay plaster, to ensure that internally the building feels connected to the garden that inspired it.

We chose McLean Quinlan partly because their practice is focused on individual homes, but mostly because we very much liked their simple but elegant design approach and their use of a limited palette of natural materials.

It was our first experience of working directly with architects to build our own home and they made it very straightforward and creative for us. We were made to feel very much a part of the design team.

Client, Devon Passivhaus

The footprint and walls of the original garden inform the design of the house, the landscape is replanted, and historic paths have been re-established.

The house is certified Passivhaus, and includes air source heating, MVHR, solar power, battery storage, super-insulation and triple-glazing throughout, to provide over 100% of required energy.

We are energy positive, with power generated exceeding power consumed by 40%, and CO2 negative. In the Summer months the house generated 3,500kwh of electricity whilst only using 60kwh, with the remaining power fed back into the grid.

Client, Devon Passivhaus
McLean Quinlan
Interior Design
McLean Quinlan
Structural Engineer
Tribus, Airey and Coles
Hosken Parks
Landscape Design
Goulden and Sons
Jim Stephenson
AJ House of the Year 2021 Manser Medal Shortlist
RIBA House of the Year 2021 Longlist
RIBA South West Awards 2021 Shortlist
Dezeen Rural Home Award 2020 Shortlist
Frame House of the Year Award 2021 Shortlist
AR House Awards 2020 Longlist
BD Architect of the Year 2020 Individual Homes Shortlist
UK Passivhaus Trust Awards 2021 Finalist