Our design for this contemporary family home near Brighton arranges the living accommodation around an existing swimming pool to create a sense of privacy and enclosure on this overlooked suburban site.


Based on a courtyard typology, the long, low, form of the building is used to shelter the central outdoor amenity space that can be accessed directly from the living rooms, while the bedrooms are accommodated on the lower ground floor looking out over the garden. The pitched roof profile is derived from the former pool house on the site and is disguised under a planted sedum blanket.


A palette of self-finished materials such as brick, exposed concrete and steel trusses is combined with the refined details of the slender window frames and timber cladding for a language that is in keeping with the character of the local conservation area. The massing is also set within the sloped topography of the site to create a sequence of landscaped garden rooms.

Early Sketch

It went from this:
The overgrown back garden of a large residential plot with derelict swimming pool and summer house.


To this:
• A fivebedroom family House, Pool and Gardens with workspace and office for a developer client.
• A wildflower Green Roof
• 1800 square metre driveway and site.


How we did it:
• We got together with developers Baobab, Landscape Architects Nicholas Dexter, Nu Planet environmental, Andrew Lucas Engineers and the Magnificent Works Co.
• We used Retaining walls and moved large amounts of earth through cut and fill
• We worked carefully around existing Tree Protection zones
• We used Blockwork, Full cavity, super lintels and bespoke designed Steel frame Trusses
• We defined key areas and modes to the house


What you’ll find:
• A formal dining room
• A snug with log burner
• A large family kitchen
• Locally sourced sweet chestnut linings and external chestnut cladding
• A tiled outdoor family pool with glacial boulders.
• Painted steel trusses
• Floor to ceiling sliding doors
• Polished concrete floors
• An abundance of natural light to all spaces
• Framed views to landscaped gardens
• A place for all the family

The Project ensures accessibility and sustainable credentials above and beyond the local planning requirements. It includes a Photovoltaic roof array to feed the house. It uses a whole house sprinkler system was utilised to make the site viable and makes considered use of whole house MVHR. It incorporates a smart house lighting system and large uninterrupted roof lights.

Baobab Development

RIBA Stage 5