OId Bothy Lodge

OId Bothy Lodge

We were asked by Christine and Matt Frost to be architects for this project in June 2009. Our brief was to design a new, sustainable house on a beautiful sloping site in Tunbridge Wells. The brief included four bedrooms, living spaces, kitchen, study and a recreation room.

We followed the daily journey made by Matt and Christine, from the moment they stepped out of their car to resting on the viewing seat at the bottom of the garden. The new house was to navigate the difference in height and privacy between the front garden and lower-level rear garden.
The design embraces the different scents and textures of the site, opening and closing views, and the experience of the space at different times of the day. Entering the site, the gravel drive crunches underfoot and the house is screened by birch and fruit trees. The route to the house follows stone pathways, passing a kitchen garden with herbs and flowers to the main entrance, sheltered beneath a louvered timber canopy, planted with climbers.
Inside the house, the hallway and staircase circulation areas open up to the right, yet the fantastic views of the hills remain screened until one reaches the living spaces. Here, the full-height glazed façade opens onto a terrace with a south-facing view, with solar fins to provide shading.

From the main terrace, one can either walk down the external stone steps to the garden and the sunken lower-level bedroom, or up the spiral staircase to the master terrace and evening seating area. A timber and glass internal stair links all floors. The house combines sandstone walling at ground level with wrapped cedar cladding, which forms the upper floor and terraces, louvres and fins.
The spiral staircase and chimney wall are clad in stone on both sides to draw the exterior into the interior. The project incorporates a range of sustainable strategies, including green roofs, rain water harvesting, MVHR, high levels of air tightness and exploiting the properties of thermal mass.

Completed: July 2011
Budget: £600,000