The Brief

There were existing plans for a traditional three-storey home when the plot was purchased. The clients set up a mini competition, presenting a short brief to three architectural practices and providing two weeks in which to respond with designs and a fee proposal.

The brief included:

  • A minimum of four bedrooms with set sizes
  • Pitched roof
  • Render
  • A light and bright property with a ‘homely’ feeling

Adam Clark of Halliday Clark Architects won the contract with his design. Adam says: “I visited the site and noted that the neighbouring properties all tended to feature garden furniture on the south-facing side, which is adjacent to the road. So, I came up with the idea of creating a private sunken courtyard on the road-facing side, shielded by a garage, which would become a sheltered suntrap. I created a 3D model and we were subsequently hired by the clients.”

The sunken courtyard at the rear

This new build has been designed around its south-facing courtyard, which is a suntrap. Along with the ground floor rooms, it receives privacy from the adjacent road thanks to the garage (not seen here), which Halliday Clark Architects designed. A zinc-clad ‘tower’ marks the entrance to this stone-clad façade

The Design

The rear, northern elevation is rendered white, while the street-facing elevation is local split-faced stone. “White render on the south-facing side would potentially have been too bright on a sunny day,” explains Adam.

Zinc was chosen to clad the vertical staircase tower to compliment the stonework. It was chosen as a low maintenance, quality material with “a sharp, clean modern look”.

The property is futureproof with an entrance, living space and two ensuite bedrooms at first floor level.

The house was shortlisted as part of the RIBA Regional Awards, and went on to win a RIBA Yorkshire Award this summer.

Large areas of glazing offer great views from the living areas

Large areas of glazing offer the open plan kitchen, dining and living space views over the rear garden and the surrounding scenery beyond. A green-tinted glass splashback lends a hint of colour

The Build

The build was quite traditional; masonry was used due to limited site access (bricks and mortar being more portable than factory-built systems), although this system does require closer management on site to ensure a reasonable level of airtightness is achieved.

The contractor for the project was Roger Tiffany, who Adam has worked with previously. “One thing that stands out here is the quality of the finish.”

Triple-height space creates an internal atrium

Impressive double and triple-height spaces create wow-factor inside this new home. An electric Velux rooflight has been installed above the internal atrium; this automatically opens when temperature exceeds a preset level, helping to cool the house

Eco Credentials

The clients were mindful of building a home with low running costs. Adam explains; “We specified wide cavities between the blockwork walls for insulation, and there’s a high level of insulation to the roof, well beyond Building Regulations.”

Instead of using mechanical ventilation heat recovery, the clients wanted to naturally ventilate the property. Features like the three-storey central atrium aid with stack ventilation, and automated rooflight at the top which opens when the temperature rises above a set level, are included.

Underfloor heating has been installed on the ground floor, and the heat rises to the floors above (which are served by radiators).

Adam designed the hoppers and rainwater goods, and the neat verges, which line the pitched roof.

Adam Clark of Halliday Clark ArchitectsAdam Clark

Architect Adam is founding director of award-winning practice Halliday Clark Architects


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