Architecture Awards 2021
'New Building in an Historic Setting'
Commendation - 'Hot House', Wirksworth
Architects: Mansel Architects
The name of this Award winner, 'Hot House', refers both to the previous glass houses on the site and to the desire for high thermal standards in the new dwelling, as the clients were moving from a cold and draughty mill building.
Mansel Architects were tasked with demolishing the existing garage buildings on the site and building a single new dwelling with four bedrooms.
This was the site of a disused garage/depot and it is located within the curtilage and off the private drive to the imposing Gate house residence (Grade II* listed) in Wirksworth. The land sits behind a tall garden wall, opposite the Lorge, which guards the driveway entrance to the property.
The Architects responded to planning feedback by designing a single storey structure above ground level. Therefore, the visible part of the house is single storey but a lower storey has been cut into the slope, which is not visible from any vantage point around the site.
The previous role of the site, as kitchen garden to the Gate House, was used as the main generator to the character of the new house.
High thermal performance aluminium windows and glazed doors were used and the extent of the glazing replicates the character of the old greenhouses and maximises light. The vertical emphasis of the units echoes the repetitive nature of the glazing bars of the greenhouse windows and roofs.
The materials used in the external envelope also take their cue from the glass houses.
To meet building requirements and the client's requirements, level access was also created from the driveway area into the entrance and principle storey of the new building.
Judges felt this was a very well thought out scheme which clearly references the archaeology of the site and makes clear what is old and what is new.