Art & Architecture, CAD Services, Design & Build
Situated within the mature landscape of Keston Park, the new Sylvan Glade, which replaces it’s 1940’s predecessor, quietly celebrates it’s form within an informal landscape. This landscape is an integral aspect of the aesthetic conception. The brief from the client was to create a fluid family house with a better relationship to light and landscape than the original house they had lived in on the location for 20 years. Consideration was
directed towards life cycle living for themselves, the specific needs of grandma (nearly 90) and their own children and new grandchild.
A modern house comprising of the usual elements of glass screening and open space transcends the predictable, exploiting every ray of daylight, orientating each room to specific views, charged by the cycle of each day. Spaces are tuned with soft curving walls to capture the light and promote the play of shadows generated by the mature trees. It is an inside out house.
Within it’s setting of typical ‘Chocolate Box’ English Houses, the new house creates a thematic tension that on closer inspection is spatially generous. Reflections of the neighbouring architecture merge, opening up new relationships. A dialogue that the Local Council were initially not so sure should exist. The enthusiasm from the neighbouring community for the adventurous couple whose children had grown up there made it a planning possibility.
Although previous schemes had been contentious, the final proposal was viewed as a sympathetic work of Architecture. The Architect's extraordinary vision secured planning approval from the Keston Park Estate Planning Committee and the London Borough of Bromley. Both without compromise. Delivered to a fixed budget, there was no compromise on the specification of efficient technology. The plan forms were simplified, whilst the enclosure stepped-up to use for the first time in a English House, a curtain wall of heat mirror ‘southwall’ tripled glazing, front and back. The hidden secret is that both flank walls have only 3% glazed area, even though the overriding memory is of a predominantly glass house.
Spaced Out engaged the Client to make the project their own by involving them not only in the overall design process, which is essential, but in the selection of materials. They were also delighted to be the first to use innovative new products including Heat Mirror Film within their glazing. This innovative new technology allows users to experience all the health and well being benefits of natural light, whilst minimizing heat loss through the glass. The transparent film is stretched within the void of otherwise standard double glazed units , forming a lightweight and highly efficient triple glazing. This provides a 0.6w/m2/k U value and also prevents the house from overheating in the summer months.
An internal structural steel frame is combined with eco-joists for the subtle 8 degree pitched roof. Floor plates are formed with precast concrete beams , infilled with concrete block and screed. The floor plates provide the required thermal mass , which in turn supports the inclusion of the water based underfloor heating system. Secondary framed structures are full depth insulated timber frames. All part of a hybrid construction system selected after considerable research into the use of other methods and systems, which focused on cross laminated timber structures and prefabricated timber cassettes.
Combined with a whole house mechanical ventilation heat recovery system, and using the thermal mass of the beam and block slabs, Sylvan Glade is an efficient solution when employing large areas of glass.