Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire home in green belt, Contemporary English semi-detached property photos

Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire

30 May 2022

Location: Hertfordshire, England, UK

Design: Ashton Porter Architects

Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire Property

Photos by Andy Stagg

Criss Cross House in Hertfordshire is one of 17 projects which received a 2022 RIBA East Award.

Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire, England

Jury Report

Criss Cross House is a simple side extension to a semi-detached house, set in rolling farmland in Hertfordshire’s green belt. The new addition provides two square volumes in plan: a living room, set off from an opening in the flank wall of the original house by a glazed dégagement, and a simple single storey garage block. The two volumes are linked by a gate that opens onto the garden at the rear. All these elements are faced in charred timber on a timber frame. The house takes its name from the 12mm plywood gridshell ceiling of the new addition, which supports a sedum roof.

Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire Property

From having little visual relationship with its surroundings, the house now luxuriates in views from three sides of the new living space. Carefully sized openings frame particular views and the room is animated by the light introduced and by the views set up across and through the space to the garden and to the opposite hillside. Thoughtful detailing and resolution help pull this new space into a successful totality with the original house and with the garden. The architects have created for their delighted clients a joyous space that completes a simple house with a wholly new and inventive space.

Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire Property

This retrofit project has implemented the principles of a fabric-first approach to uplift thermal performance and included an air source heat pump to present its energy use efficiency enhancement, while it was notably the best performing domestic project from the shortlist for water use efficiency. From an embodied carbon perspective, it has included significant use of timber both structurally (timber frame), and as decorative elements principally in the form of charred timber cladding. The project has also prioritised offsite manufacture and prefabrication to considerably reduce construction time and enhance the overall efficiency in building erection.

Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire Property

Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire Property – Building Information

Title: Criss Cross House
RIBA region: East
Architect practice: Ashton Porter Architects
Date of completion: July 2020
Date of occupation: July 2020
Client company name: Private

Project city/town: Hertfordshire, England, UK
Contract value: Confidential
Gross internal area: 175.00 m²
Net internal area: 171.00 m²
Cost per m²: Confidential
Contractor company name: PVR Builders

Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire Property


Structural Engineers: Constant Structural Design


• RIBA Regional Award

Photographs: Andy Stagg

House designs

2022 RIBA East Awards Winners

Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire Property images / information received from the Royal Institute of British Architects

Location: Hertfordshire, south east England, United Kingdom

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Photos for the Criss Cross House, Hertfordshire Property building design by Ashton Porter Architects page welcome