Copper Beeches

Napier Clarke Architects

: DSC, Steven Clarke, Joakim Boren (Photography)

Copper beeches is located on Hamilton road, close to the centre of High Wycombe. The sustainable new house stands alone on a small infill site located between two existing houses East and West and two TPO’d Copper Beech trees North and South.

At planning stage, the project was challenging due to its proximity to the trees. We submitted a complete foundation design to demonstrate that the proposed house would not disturb the existing trees roots. This comprised a series of carefully located screw piles with a floating ground bearing slab above. The house is broken into two sculptural blocks, one in handmade local tile to reflect the materials of the neighbouring bungalow and the other in handmade local brick to reflect the material of the neighbouring house. The blocks are joined by a timber glazed link providing circulation between rooms and storeys. The form is staggered in plan to respond to the neighbouring footprints, with the house to the West located on the road and the bungalow on the East being set back. The house was designed as a sustainable house, all structural construction above ground is in timber, no steel. The facade is highly insulated timber panels wrapped with a Tyvek house wrap achieving an air tightness of 2.5. The house is naturally ventilated and is heated using an air source heat pump.