Credits: ACME Team (Alia Centofanti, Nicholas Channon, Deena Fakhro,Catherine Hennessy, Katrina Hollis, Kevin Leung, Friedrich Ludewig, Lucy Moroney, Heidrun Schuhmann, Penny Sperbund)
Consultants: Barton Willmore, Furness Green Partnership, Ten Architecture & Design, Wilkionson Construction Consultants, Etude, Harry Barnes Construction Ltd
Kent is characterised by rolling landscapes, apple orchards and oast houses, used to dry hops as part of the beer-brewing process. The new house has been designed as a 21st century interpretation of the formal language of Kentish architecture.
Five towers are built slightly apart from each other, creating inward-looking spaces in each tower and a more outward-looking central space opening out into the surrounding apple orchard. Each of the towers houses private functions such as bathrooms, bedrooms and service spaces, and framed window openings allow for selective views out. The centre of the house is a triple-height living space, visually open to the garden and towards each of the four towers, forming the heart of the house.
Oast houses were traditionally made from solid brick walls with clay-shingled roofs. In order to achieve an extremely low-energy house, the towers will be built in two layers – a heavily insulated inner skin and a clay tile rainscreen façade. The outer skin made from traditional Kent style tiles in six shades, slowly fading from dark red at the base to light orange at the tip. The interior of the roundels unfolds seamlessly into one another. The entry floor in grounded in hard finishes, that transition to warmer materials as one climbs the towers into the more intimate living, play and sleeping spaces.