Situated in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty outside Henley-on-Thames, Middletree House takes part of a large back garden and creates a beautiful, low-energy new home set within a woodland glade.
The house is designed to nestle into the gently sloping site and sit amongst the many beautiful mature trees. The design focusses on creation of a unique and secluded setting for family life. The main living spaces sit between a morning terrace, with a deck suspended over a wildlife pond, and an afternoon terrace, surrounded by wildflower meadows.
The pared-back design comprises a first-floor gabled volume of minimally-detailed larch over panels of knapped Chilterns flint and complimentary charred larch. A monumental flint chimney provides ventilation and a cantilevered corner provides a shaded place to sit.
The landscape design sets the house within a glade surrounded by native wildflower meadows, woodland shrub planting, extensive native tree and hedgerow planting and a wildlife pond. The design would lead to a 39% net gain of biodiversity habitat (as well as a 9000% net gain of hedgerow habitat.)
The house would perform 70% better than current Building Regulations in terms of carbon emissions, including a heat pump, photovoltaic panels, mechanical heat recovery ventilation system, super-insulation and highly airtight construction, leading to an energy use similar to that of a Passivhaus.
All rainwater is collected within a large tank adjacent to the car-port for reuse within the house, with any excess feeding into the wildlife pond.