1704_Wuduhus Huntingdon House, Cambridgeshire Property Images, English Building Photos, Architecture

1704_Wuduhus, Huntingdon Home

29 May 2022

Location: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, southeast England, United Kingdom

Design: Mole Architects

1704_Wuduhus Huntingdon House

Photos by Matt Smith

1704_Wuduhus in Huntingdon is one of 17 projects which received a 2022 RIBA East Award.

1704_Wuduhus Huntingdon House

Jury Report

This project has been driven by a client with a very clear sense of destination – the creation of a place to live after retiring as a city headteacher with as little environmental impact as possible: a desire for compact self-sufficiency. Having identified a site on the edge of a fen village she contacted Mole Architects to design her an appropriate house.

1704_Wuduhus Huntingdon House

What emerged is an exemplar of the Passivhaus approach: an upside-down arrangement with a first floor kitchen, living room and bedroom looking out for miles over the surrounding fens at both the back and front of the house, while the ground floor offers more introverted spaces, including a spare bedroom, utility spaces and study. Externally, well-detailed larchboard cladding combined with a butterfly roof and celebratory rainwater pipe offer a light-hearted reference to the agricultural tradition of farm buildings on the edge of fen settlements.

1704_Wuduhus Huntingdon House

The client is evidently delighted, proudly indicating the house’s energy use, which regularly hovers close to zero. Her eminently practical approach has led to the installation of a lift and mid-level power sockets, in anticipation of future decline in mobility. Potential maintenance blackspots – such as beneath the kitchen cupboards – have been left exposed, allowing easy detection of leaks and access.

Although the design has not formally attained Passivhaus certification, it satisfies the principles set out by the approach. Actual energy use as a result addresses the RIBA 2025 benchmark, while the substantial contribution from onsite photovoltaics delivers its near off-grid operation.

1704_Wuduhus Huntingdon House

Throughout the construction it demonstrates considerable attention to embodied carbon considerations, by utilising timber structurally (with cellulose insulation), as well as in cladding and finishing treatments. Even the decorative floor and paint finishes commendably include the application of bio-based alternatives. Furthermore, the project includes a rainwater harvester and several features to conserve water, as well as a notable garden with vegetable plots to exemplify the owner’s quest to achieve a self-sufficient lifetime home.

1704_Wuduhus Huntingdon House – Building Information

Title: 1704_Wuduhus
RIBA region: East
Architect practice: Mole Architects
Date of completion: April 2019
Date of occupation: April 2019
Client: Joan Morters

Project city/town: Huntingdon
Contract value: Confidential
Gross internal area: 132.26 m²
Net internal area: 115.60 m²
Cost per m²: Confidential
Contractor company name: Burmor

1704_Wuduhus Huntingdon House

Consultants

Environmental & Timber Frame: Beattie Passive
Structural Engineers: HA consulting

Awards

• RIBA Regional Award
• Regional Small Project of the Year

Mole Architects

Photographs: Matt Smith

2022 RIBA East Awards Winners

1704_Wuduhus Huntingdon House images / information received from the Royal Institute of British Architects

Location: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, south east England, UK

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