Craddock Cottages, Gomshall Property, Surrey House

Gomshall Houses, Surrey Cottage Property, Family Home, Building, Design

Craddock Cottages, Surrey

Gomshall Property: Residential Development – design by Stephen Taylor Architects

23 Jun 2009

Cottages in Gomshall

Design: Stephen Taylor Architects

Craddock Cottages in Surrey

The residential projects that Stephen Taylor Architects are currently engaged with range in scale from small house extensions to large mixed-use developments, and masterplans. We continue to work with private residential clients, as well as commercial developers, and local authorities.

We have worked on a series of projects with Baylight Properties that strive to achieve their aspiration for a ‘better ordinary house’ in small towns and suburban locations. These range from individual houses to larger developments for new communities.

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photographs : David Grandorge

One of these projects, Craddock Cottages, is for two family houses in Gomshall, Surrey. Having assessed the context, a central aspect of our design was to break down the scale and volume of the houses. This establishes a building typology which resonates with adjacent building forms as well as recalling other village developments in the region. The two houses have been designed and built, to integrate with, and complement, the existing pattern of development. The project was the winner of a 2009 RIBA Award in the South East region, and has been shortlisted for a 2009 Guildford Design Award.

‘An Intimate Urban Ideal’ an exhibition of the work of Stephen Taylor Architects and students from London Metropolitan University is currently on show at Bruton Museum. The exhibition explores how modest interventions, consisting of two or more dwellings, can be woven into the historic urban grain of a small Somerset town. Also, ‘Intimacies’ an exhibition of the work of Stephen Taylor Architects was held at London Metropolitan University in February 2009.

Exploring this notion of intimacy is a central theme in our work. The spatial configurations of our projects test the level to which the requirements of different occupancies can be accommodated in constrained urban conditions. It is important for us that our projects, whether rural, suburban, or urban, participate in the decorum of their surroundings.

We have developed a series of residential projects on constrained brownfield sites in East London. These have explored different spatial configurations to find the best balance between the public and private requirements of living in the city.

One of these projects, House on Work, has developed an entire plot, where once a rear yard as well as the front street, had provided light and air. Consequently, special value was placed upon the potential for the front elevation as well as the roof to bring light and air deep into the site.

An earlier new-build residential project, Three Small Houses, was the winner of a 2007 RIBA in the London region. A larger mixed-use project in Reading, consisting of fourteen rooftop dwellings in a prominent city centre location, is currently onsite. This provide the opportunity for ideas developed on smaller projects to be applied and adapted for new circumstances.

‘Some Ideas on Living in London and Tokyo’ a joint exhibition between Stephen Taylor Architects and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA was held at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal in 2008.

Stephen Taylor Architects were shortlisted for the 2008 BD Masterplanning Architect of the Year Award.

Sustainable Design

Our approach to sustainable design is embedded in a holistic design process. We seek to make informed decisions at every stage of the design process on the basis of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. This means that consideration is given to relevant standards/ guidance such as BREEAM/ Code for Sustainable at an early stage.

Strategically, our projects in suburban locations seek to retain as much green space as possible, by placing compact volumes on the site in dense groupings. In constrained urban locations we seek to maximize natural light and ventilation even on land-locked sites. The spatial configurations feature courtyards and rooflights, to allow light and air to permeate deep into the plan.

Care is taken in the specification of products and materials, with locally sourced or renewable materials used wherever possible. We also recognize the value of materials which are robust and require little maintenance in the context of the lifespan of the building. It is important to us that high-quality materials are used, and good workmanship is demonstrated during construction.

We develop highly-insulated construction details which minimize heat loss through walls, floors, and roofs. We are also aware of the advantage of heavyweight construction, over lightweight construction, in absorbing heat and contributing to cooling during the summer.

Craddock Cottages features wood burning stoves, with neutral CO2 emissions, in family rooms and living/ dining areas. This reduces the overall central heating use, and CO2 emissions.

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Craddock Cottages images / information from Stephen Taylor Architects

Stephen Taylor Architects


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