Diprose Cottages, Benenden, Cranbrook
Site description: Area of outstanding natural beauty and Outside limits to Built Development 1. This is a rural setting in the heart of the AONB, surrounded by an agrarian landscape with extensive views. The neighbouring buildings are all traditional in style including a converted oast house adjacent.
Proposal: The proposal was for the replacement of a 1960’s bungalow with a single storey contemporary and minimal dwelling. While the above ground structure is of similar volume to the existing bungalow, a large amount of accommodation was provided in a substantial basement to house a gym, pool, cinema, utility and plant with a light well. The materials responded to the colours of the landscape with bronze tecu cladding and fascias and sedum roofs. Ecology and sustainability was integral to the design which included an extensive network of ground source heat pumps.
Areas of glazing frame chosen views and create inside outside spaces connecting water, courtyards and open landscape. Despite the constraints and sensitive site the house nestled into the landscape with its orientation, form and colours. It was described in the planners report as – unobtrusive, sympathetic to the local area and not harmful to the AONB. RIBA Stages: 0-3*