homify 360°: An eco-friendly house in Guernsey

Sheila Byers Sheila Byers
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This wonderful family house that we present to you today is located in Guernsey. The landscape of the island is dominated by the steep coast in the south, and some of that steepness has been reflected in the home’s angular structure. The island is especially popular because of its mild, almost Mediterranean climate, which is influenced by the passing Gulf Stream. In addition to farming, there are also smaller industries that have settled on the island. The house was formerly in function as a packaging hall and has now been redeveloped into an energy-efficient, eco-friendly house.

The facade

From the outside looking in, the elongated main section of the house extends across our line of vision. The facade is clad with vertical wood, which gives a natural character. Larch wood is especially popular for the use of timber cladding, as it offers a wide range of advantages. As a matter of fact, the larch was honored as Tree of the Year in 2012. Even though it is a conifer, its wood is very strong because it grows extremely slowly. Its high resin content means that it is well protected from the weather. So the larch, even with an untreated surface, remains a simple construction material that is easy to care for. The color of the wood changes over the years and takes on a grayish tinge. This patina protects the wood and simultaneously, because of the colour gloss, provides a unique design element.

Openings

The floor plan of the building complex is L-shaped, with the main building connecting on the left side to a single-storey, elongated square, which houses the more private rooms. The facade of the main house is broken by large openings. Due to the building’s enormous height of over three metres, the sliding doors have been specially made. The frames of the windows were selected in a black colouration and form a complementary counterpart to the colour of the facade. In addition to the rectangular cutouts, a round window is centred on the side wall, which is a nice way to soften the effect of the linear structure . Windows that wrap around corners,like here, are particularly suitable for large homes because they provide a panoramic view. An additional advantage of the angular window is that light can be captured from two different directions.

Entrance way

The entrance to the house presents the use of natural building materials and old-school style. The combination of wood and stone is a tried and true mix that is suitable for both creative and functional purposes.The entrance is protected by a roof, which is only halfway covered with slats and so does not darken from the area but lets some light through.

Stacked boxes

Inside, two stacked boxes are set on the west side of the building, which lay out the entire building in an unconventional way. The side of the top boxes is an oversized glass wall, which contributes to the airy feel of the open plan.

Corridors

Along the sides of the stacked cubes are narrow corridors that allow for maximum use of the space in the room. Here, we see the importance of the exposed beams, which continue the trend of natural materials that occurs within the house.

Living area

On the opposite side of the house, the designers have taken advantage of the enormous ceiling height to insert a lofted storey. Its  ceiling creates a protected, closed-off living room on the first floor. To maintain the sense of openness the railing of the second floor is made of glass, so light can easily move through. The low ceiling of the living room slightly breaks up the cavernous structure and gives this sitting area a cosy atmosphere. The round dining table and the massive kitchen counter mark the centre of the house, and of the family life.

Bedroom

Private rooms such as the bedroom and located in the smaller rectangular annex.  Large windows provide views into the leafy grounds. The bedroom borders the master bathroom, which is, just like the rest of the house, decorated in natural colours. Here, we can also see the light fixtures. The owner of the house choose to forego hanging lights and opted instead for halogen spotlights that have been installed flush with the ceiling to create a clean, modern look.

What do you think of this house? Let us know in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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