Organic Design Approach

An operationally Net-Zero carbon home of exceptional quality and design within the Conservation Area and Green Belt



Mulberry More

What We Propose

A one-off statement house of organic design that blends discretely with the surrounding landscape mimicking the contours of the local topography. The design of the replacement dwelling and pavilion evolved through our thorough understanding of the existing topography, the surrounding context and environmental aspects of the site including being sited in the Conservation Area.

The existing house is a conventional, angular form that has been unsympathetically designed. The client wished for a unique sustainable house.

A key design factor for us was how best to respond to the unique site conditions, with ground levels dropping steeply from front to back and side to side. This created the opportunity for an organic form cascading, with the upper level the smallest of the 3 floors. This exceptional home has for best energy efficiency , openings to maximise solar gains and the best views. Renewable technologies harness natural energy of the sun, the water and the earth to help achieve an operationally Net-Zero carbon home.

  • Location
    Loughton, Essex
  • Size
    900 square metres
  • Status
    Planning Approved Dec 2021
  • Cost

Mulberry has been designed as a ‘one-off’, demonstrating outstanding design . The front, north facing entrance appears single storey, of minimal design and openings with a hidden entrance for intrigue. The true scale and ingenuity of the house reveals itself when you walk through the front door. The generous entrance hall and stair core, as well as the open plan living and dining spaces, benefit from floor to ceiling triple glazed curved glass openings exemplifying the breath-taking views of the beautifully landscaped rear garden .  Due to the steep contours of the site, the rear elevation results in maintaining the appearance of a two-storey dwelling with a hidden lower ground floor. The organic curved form with contemporary detailing of traditional materials, reduces the visible mass of the building which is further hidden due to the existing mature landscaping, which is further enhanced with native planting.

The terrain at the bottom of the site is especially difficult and is currently unused by the client. As part of the overall design, a subterranean Pavilion with swimming pool is located underneath the current tennis court which will be replaced with soft landscaping to enhance biodiversity. The Pavilion is open on two sides and will be an oasis secluded from civilisation, to sit, relax and enjoy the ponds and wider landscape.

The operationally Net-Zero sustainable design was achieved by our expert design team including Qoda, maximising the site’s credentials, bringing forward this ambitious sustainable home.

The design works hard with technology, utilising the energy of the sun, the water and the earth. This synergy is facilitated by vertical ground and air source heat pumps generate heat to supply the house and pavilion with space heating, passive cooling, and domestic hot water. The heating and cooling, as well as electric vehicle charging, will be powered by electricity generated via 100 solar panels. Sustainable drainage systems include rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plant, and water ponds formed , providing a betterment to existing drainage conditions. The super structure will be constructed in reinforced in situ concrete with all external walls using a proprietary Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF) system. This construction method has many sustainable and efficiency benefits to achieve Net-Zero. It will also result in a quicker construction time due to offsite manufacturing and on-site assembly, reducing waste and dust pollution. The lightweight formwork is delivered to site in smaller, greener vehicles, further reducing the projects embodied carbon footprint.

Mulberry is a ground-breaking piece of architecture. A truly special home for our clients that proves that Net-Zero is an attainable standard. We hope it will the first of many and inspire future homes to excel to this level of architecture. We love it!

Mulberry Design Features

  • Net-Zero – no impact to our planet
  • Architecture and landscape take inspiration from stunning site
  • Enhancing the Conservation Area
  • Traditional external materials detailed in a contemporary way, including red clay brick and Portland stone
  • Making an improvement to the wildlife and therefore increasing biodiversity
  • Insulated concrete formwork (ICF) system, providing many sustainable and efficiency benefits over traditional methods
  • Drainage  via sustainable drainage systems
  • Subterranean pavilion creating an oasis at the bottom of the rear garden

The Existing House