The Denes, Lewes

Working on a high-spec new build or house remodelling is always a really enjoyable part of the job. They may not be newsworthy but they always give us a technical challenge to resolve in the design.

The Denes, within the South Downs National Park was no exception.

The original brief was to convert and extend the existing house. But, after it transpired it was not fit for purpose we were appointed to design a replacement dwelling instead.

We needed to design a building that was not only sympathetic to its rural context, but would be highly sustainable and have a minimal environmental footprint.

We incorporated these sustainable measures into the design:

  • A ground source heat pump
  • High levels of insulation
  • High performance windows and doors
  • Natural, locally-sourced materials for external cladding

Plus, in taking a “fabric first” approach, we carefully considered where glazing would be positioned and the orientation of the building itself so that the main living spaces would benefit from solar gain. The building makes the most of natural light and offers exceptional views across the South Downs.

The final design strikes the balance between incorporating elements of the Sussex vernacular and being sympathetic to its rural surrounds whilst also delivering a contemporary twist.

The application was submitted in February with a decision due in April 2022.

If you’re looking for ways to make your home more sustainable, check out our guide. And, if you are looking to extend, renovate or even build a new home, we can help you.