Godwit House

MawsonKerr Architects

: JCC Structural Engineers

Overlooking the Coquet estuary, Northumberland, Godwit House responds to both place and client. Built on a brownfield site on the boundary of an AONB the design maximises views and daylight whilst being a friendly neighbour to the existing houses.

The ground floor bedrooms and study are clustered around a courtyard garden helping to create an intimate setting. In contrast, the upper floor is a large living, kitchen and dining space which celebrates the long expansive views across the estuary. The form and materials of the house draw influence from the agricultural structures found locally, stone to the ground floor and vertical larch to the upper, this coupled with crisp detailing gives a familiar yet contemporary design approach. The long barn like format of the plan help minimise its visual impact on existing houses. The house is fabricated from MMC factory built timber cassettes filled with wood fibre insulation, whilst minimising the use of concrete and steel, all helping to achieve low embodied carbon and thermal performance. The project increases local biodiversity, with a green roof, rainwater harvesting and two ponds to accommodate visiting wildlife. The design, attention to detail, and the newly learnt skills of the local contractors enabled Godwit house to be a Certified Passivhaus, the most northerly in England. In addition to this the house goes beyond the 2030 RIBA Climate Challenge targets. This project raises standards in the region and beyond, but more importantly creates a comfortable and pleasurable home for the client, with a cracking view.