22. Ford Farm

The Chestnut Farm reflected in its landscape, Photograph by Richard Chivers

Importance of Landscaping in our homes

A building should never just appear abruptly ‘plonked’ on the land. For a building to be successful the architecture and landscaping must be tightly intertwined. Good building design should enhance its setting, making the best aspects of the site stronger and be crafted to be as environmentally positive as possible.

 

When working on Paragraph 79 schemes one of the two unique criteria for gaining approval is to ‘enhance its immediate setting’. This cannot be achieved as an afterthought but has to be developed from the outset, in some aspect the landscape leads the design of the building – not the other way around.

 

The Para 79 home we are currently working on is sited by a lake, on the edge of a flood zone with a small copse of mature trees to the north and an overflow from a river providing a home for water voles at the edge of the plot. Working closely with our Landscape Architects, Seed, consideration of these ecological and landscape elements have dictated the position, size and orientation of the building.

 

Our Chestnut Farm home was a replacement mobile dwelling, crafted to comply with the requirements of the Caravan 1966 act. The replacement mobile dwelling embraces the landscape and sits humbly in this idyllic setting, each element (main home, working stables, workshop, kitchen garden and outdoor kitchen) have been carefully planned to strengthen and enliven the buildings dialogues with surrounding landscape.

 

Raised above the earth on removable piles, the home and appears to gently float above the wild landscape in which it is immersed. The elevated terrace offers a tranquil and ever-changing view of the natural surroundings – orientated towards natural pond and woodland. The home and terrace spaces southerly facing aspect were carefully planned to make the most of the sun path without creating solar gain overheating issues.