Green is for Go. Our sustainable, sculpted house breaks ground.

Copper Bottom is the new green vision from Adrian James, Director at Adrian James Architects.

This is a big project for the practice, and for us personally – we have just sold the house which Adrian designed and which was our family home for the last quarter of a century to make Copper Bottom possible.

Preliminary sketch of the house

Here is what Adrian has to say about his vision for the house.

At the same time as being a sustainability exemplar, the house has an innovative design, completely clad in verdigis green copper to meld with the verdant setting. The aim is to show that passive house parameters need not lead to dull design, but can inspire new and wonderful architecture.

Form follows function

The house is compact to ensure energy efficiency, and the internal form is a simple cuboid with a shallow pitched roof to face the sun. The external form of the house is very different, however. Dynamic and sculptural with no vertical walls. Its angled planes and deep recessed openings giving it a sense of frozen movement.

This is not architectural whimsy, the form is driven by passive house parameters. The roof is sloped to enable a full array of photo voltaic panels and projects over the south-facing façade to shield the large windows from high sun. That façade then leans outward to prop the overhang with deep cut-outs for the windows and glass doors facing the view. Other façades are angled to create similar overhangs and blinkers, which shield the interior from summer sun but allow low winter sun to flood in.

The result is a carapace for the building which has a zoomorphic quality, poised and resonant. Internally the house will be full of light with a double height central space while enjoying the benefits of thermal mass.

Building this new house for my family is not just about doing something expressive, artistic and joyous, poetic even, it is also about showcasing a sustainable building which is a joy to occupy and which, if you catch sight of it, you want to approach and walk around because somehow, ineffably, it stirs the soul as a sculpture might.

Or, as our planning consultant put it, the house looks as if it is twerking!

To find out more about the project as we build, follow us on Instagram.

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