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Business & Economy

Architects designs are simply grand

Newcastle based Sadler Brown Architecture, who specialise in commercial and residential architectural design, are celebrating following one of their specialist residential design projects featuring on the popular Grand Designs TV programme

The hit Channel 4 programme showcases unusual and elaborate housing projects and featured a ‘Spiral Eco Home’ designed by SBA’s lead residential designers Kevin Brown and Mark Starford.

The eco home, which Grand Designs aired earlier this week, is nestled in the Somerset Devon borders and features a curving roof made of a mosaic of glass, solar and wood panels and is fossil-shaped.

The property was designed for married couple Stephen and Elizabeth Tetlow with a build budget of circa £600,000.00, with much of the building work being carried out by the couple themselves.

Kevin Brown, Creative Director, Sadler Brown Architecture, said, “To have our work featured on a national TV programme of this magnitude is fantastic news for us all at SBA.

“We pride our business and reputation on our architectural design skills so to be featured on the Grand Designs programme is an absolute honour for us.

“It has been a privilege to see this serpentine house take shape across the Blackdown Hills, in an area of outstanding beauty. It’s a wonder of engineering fused with sacred geometry built for the photovoltaic scales of the property’s skin.”

The completed five-bedroom house is tucked into the top corner of a wild flower meadow, with light pouring in from a large array of windows all round and is so innovative the couple have offered it to Exeter University to study. No single element of the property is completely new it is all the elements combined which make it new.

Steve and Elizabeth felt it was important to find a way of connecting the house firmly to the land. They wanted the meadow to come right up to the front door of the building but it was Kevin Brown of SBA who had the idea of building all 26,000 sq ft of it in a ‘Fibonacci spiral’ inspired by a fossil they had found in the cottage garden.

There are two floors, each with long corridor and small side rooms (bedrooms, studies, living rooms) leading off it, their shaped dictated by the curving walls of the house. Tucked into the the slope of the hill at the back of the lower floor is the engine room, rather like a ship where the controls of the integrated energy systems are installed. These systems which include geothermal, solar thermal, photovoltaic and air- heat recovery result in energy bills of about £30 a quarter. There is also a borehole and biodigester drainage.

The roof was covered with water proof membrane intricately cut so it wouldaccommodate all the curves and there is also a narrow south facing conservatory along the side of the building.

All the innovation work on the property has been done to preserve the wild flower meadow and built under paragraph 55 of the national planning policy framework.

Grand designs presenter Kevin McCloud was lost for words when he toured one of the most unusual houses ever seen on the show and liken the property to “a snake basking on a hillside” and marveled at the sinuous curves of the house.

Tony Harmieson, Managing Director, SBA, said, “We’ve grown quickly over the last two years and won some real stand-out projects. This televised project being just one of them. I really can’t think of a better accolade than to have one of our specialist design projects featured in this high-profile and credible way. We are all very proud and already looking forward to the next one.”

The Riverside Studios-based business recently moved into larger premises following a period of sustained growth after winning a raft of high-profile design commissions.

SBA also have design studios in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, with plans for their 6th office opening expected later this month.