Using modern methods of construction, in the form of structural insulated panels, the project embraces the government-led initiative for the use of off-site manufacturing methods. Throughout, the materials and components were chosen based on their environmental performance over the building’s life and, wherever possible, selected from a renewable local source. The buildings are built from timber on a brick base, with a corner building clad in recycled copper; warm and tactile materials intended to complement their surroundings.
The bricks are sourced from a local quarry and the timber, a sweet chestnut, is indigenous to Sussex. Since they can be seen from the distant hills, the roofs were considered as an elevation, this resulting in our choice to plant them, softening their appearance and blending them into their surroundings.
Non-native trees will be replaced with semi-mature native species. Whilst we appreciate that contemporary design can be controversial, this striking proposal intends to make a positive contribution to the character of the area, where a more conservative design approach would add little or nothing.