• "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

    - Benjamin Franklin

  • "Climate change is the biggest thing that humans have ever done on this planet. The one thing that needs to be even bigger is our movement to stop it"

    - Bill McKibben

  • "If you really think the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money"

    - Dr. Guy McPherson

  • "Most of us are aware that scientists say climate change is underway, but even if we accept it as true we act as if it had no implications"

    - Prof Naomi Oreskes

  • "The Earth was much warmer than today in the early Cenozoic period. It was so warm that there were no ice sheets on the planet and sea level was about 75 meters higher"

    - Prof James Hansen

  • "The human-made rate of change of atmospheric Co2 is ten thousand times larger than the natural rate that drove the climate changes of the past"

    - Prof James Hansen

  • "If we could catch one five thousandth part of the energy that the sun sprays onto this globe every day we would meet all of the energy requirements of humanity"

    - Sir David Attenborough, 2015

  • "I'd put money on the sun and solar energy, what a source of power. I hope we wont have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that"

    - Thomas Edison, 1931

  • "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek"

    - Barak Obama

  • "The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening and we are entering a period of consequences"

    - Al Gore, 2006

  • "We shall need a new way of thinking if humanity is to survive"

    - Albert Einstein, 1954

  • "Admit nothing into your home that is neither useful nor beautiful."

    - William Morris

  • "Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and eat and sleep with the earth."

    - Walt Whitman

  • "Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in lowly places that all disdain. That is why it is so near to Tao"

    - Lao Tzu

  • "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art"

    - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • "The truth of a vessel lies not in that of which it is made; it lies in the space contained within"

    - Lao Tze

  • "Study Nature, Love Nature, stay close to Nature. It will never fail you."

    - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • "That which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of the night"

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Your house is your larger body. It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; yet it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? And dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop?"

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vinyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these fully satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains?’ Nature remains"

    - Walt Whitman

  • "Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity."

    - Wolfgang von Goethe

Swinbrook Cottage Extension

Oxfordshire, UK

Swinbrook_0

About This Project

This project involved extension to a cottage at the foot of a steep hill in the Conservation Area.

The existing cottage was two-bedroomed, one of which is a small single in size. A leaky flat-roofed extension dating from the 1980’s accommodated a small Kitchen/Dining area and Bathroom – all of which looked back into the hillside. The new accommodation was intended to make the cottage suitable for a family, so much needed to be done to improve all aspects of the accommodation – from adding bedrooms and shower-rooms to making the living areas more ‘liveable’ and light. And not least important – giving the living accommodation a view.

A number of different extension options were considered (as can be seen from the sketches) and no fewer than six possible plan options looked at. The client had a major input into the layout which resulted in the openness which can be seen in the images.

Because of the constraints of the steep site, which involved a degree of cutting into the hillside, aspects of light, waterproofing and drainage were important while the constricted site access offered its own challenges during construction. The contractor later said that the construction challenges were what attracted him to this project. He was, he said, bored of doing projects that weren’t challenging in some way. He certainly made a good fist of this project.

The heavy timber louvred assemblies of untreated Douglas Fir to the side elevation were intended to give the new accommodation visual privacy in view of the proximity of neighbours and a public footpath leading up the side of the property. This may have been somewhat of an overreaction, as the footpath turned out to lead nowhere.

Sketches were completed in spring 2007, a Planning Application made later in 2007, and the project completed approximately three years later.