Orbital House - Sussex
Historical analysis of the site and context informs the circular plan with evidence found of circular groundworks on the site dating back to a time when it was part of the walled gardens of Oasted House. This historic boundary also determines the current outline of the site. With the character of the site being defined by its horticultural past and existing mature vegetation, it was decided that the building form would work with and around the flora to maintain this pastoral quality.
The house is designed to be a lightweight, contemporary dwelling set sensitively within the mature gardens of its context. The plan was driven by the requirements of the client – to future proof the building and allow for ease of mobility – consisting of a single storey with reduced circulation and disabled access throughout.
Internally the design consists of an open plan living space and dining room with galley kitchen. Two double bedrooms are accessed directly from the living area, one ensuite accessible from the living room space. Due to the overshadowing by trees, at the centre of the roof a conical skylight brings light into the centre of the plan.
The material palate of the house has been carefully chosen to allow the scheme to recede into its surroundings. The building envelope was developed to work with the spatial layout. Large apertures within the structure break-up the volume of the building within its context as well as to allow generous views out. Service and private spaces are clad in an array of timber branches which extend out to the surrounding, providing trellis for planting and flora to intertwine with the building, blurring the boundary between building and nature.