Church Farm Abbotsley
A scheme was developed for three new houses on part of the estate at Church Farm, in the centre of the village of Abbotsley. The site lies within the Abbotsley Conservation area, and comprises a group of three new homes arranged around a communal landscaped courtyard, all accessed from a new drive from Blacksmith’s Lane, to achieve a real sense of place that is appropriate to its sensitive setting.
The scheme is a considered, bespoke response to their local site and landscape context. Proposals have been designed to protect and enhance the specific historic and landscape character and the setting of the adjacent listed buildings, at the same time as meeting requirements of local and national policy in relation to design, housing, amenity, access and sustainability.
The new houses are carefully planned and located to work with the topography of the site, minimise impact on neighbouring listed buildings, and to ensure retention of the majority of existing mature trees, and avoid existing tree roots. The form and massing of the houses have been designed to respond to the local vernacular and the topology of the site, and to take account of key views into and across the site. They are designed as a recognisable family, with similar forms and detailing shared between all three.
As signatories to ‘Architect’s Declare Climate Emergency’ we will seek to ensure the houses are designed and built to high environmental and sustainability standards. A ‘fabric first’ approach has been adopted, with timber frames, high levels of insulation and careful detailing at potential thermal bridges and fully sealed for airtightness. The energy used in construction will be kept to a minimum, with materials specified responsibly for their low-embodied energy and from green guide. And houses will be efficient in use, minimising use of resources, with energy and water saving fittings.
This project represents a wonderful, one-off opportunity for the high quality, appropriate development on a neglected and overgrown site in the heart of Abbotsley, to provide much needed, well-designed sustainable new residential accommodation. The scheme carefully and pragmatically balances the specifics of site and context with the requirements of current legislation to create a small development of appropriate scale and character.