Eco House, Looe, Cornwall

This valley is within an Area of Great Landscape Value and it was therefore essential that the new house had no detrimental impact on the surrounding area, most importantly by ensuring that no trees were removed in either the construction or habitation of the site.

The site is a wood and had a tree preservation order on the whole wood. In order to ensure no damage was sustained by the trees we used piled foundations and post and beam construction to avoid damage to tree roots. Ecology played an important role in the choice of material and method of construction. For instance piled foundations meant we were able to drill a hole that was well away from tree roots, thus ensuring no damage was sustained.

The contrast of light and shaded areas created by the position of existing trees dictated where the main living spaces were to be situated, and the sloping topography enabled two storeys without being detrimental to the landscape. The access to the site was considered in a similar way, with a carport located near the main entrance and a timber boardwalk snaking through the existing woodland to the house.

The timber post and beam construction enables the entire building to be lifted above the ground, thereby providing tree root protection as well limiting the impact to other scrub and vegetation. The appearance and materials of the building were dictated by the need to blend into the surroundings. Western red cedar cladding is employed along with a wild grass green roof, which will also assist with the natural drainage and biodiversity of the site.

Several concerns were raised during the planning process, but working in coordination with local planning consultants Situ8 and tree consultants Tretec, all of these concerns were resolved and planning permission granted.

This project was a joy to work on. The result is pleasing and we feel justly proud.

Building Type

Eco and ContemporaryHousing

Services Provided


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