Wednesday 23 June 2010

old skool

Every now and then I see something that makes me yearn for the 'good old days'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for progression and innovation and would probably consider myself to be, if not an eco warrior, then a pretty dedicated sustainabilty soldier - but sometimes I get the worrying feeling that we are all trying to 'fix' something that wasn't even shop soiled let alone broken.

Ever changing Building Regs, Health and Safety, Planning controls, Codes for Sustainable housing....blah blah blah - there are just so many rules and things you MUST do or are FORBIDDEN to try. And the rules all seem to advocate less and less choice rather than celebrate the artistic spirit that has made the Self Build industry in this country so exciting. I even read the other day that most of the regulations for the future will depend on our houses being so airtight that opening a window, having a wood burner or even (heaven forbid) breaking wind would send your house into some sort of atmospheric/air conditioned melt down. What is going on? Surely our climate here is perfectly suited to throwing open the french doors on a sunday or lighting the stove in the middle of winter - if not for temperature control then maybe for evoking an atmosphere and creating an lovely living environment? Oh dear, I'm ranting aren't I?

Any way the purpose of this was to show you this gorgeous house, which is built the very same way and to much the same design as an Elizabethen house - but with a lot more insulation. Each time I see a full oak framed cottage like this I get a warm fuzzy glow (I think I need to build one?)

The owners may have an air heat source pump (see at the front) and double glazed, Argon filled windows, underfloor heating and all the other high tech gadgetry available nowadays, but I just think the house looks pleasing and subtle. It isn't pretending to be old, or (heaven forbid, again) trying to look foreign (ie German) - it is just good old fashioned British craftsmanship, a dollop of vernacular design, topped off with fab natural materials that will get better with age.

Here endeth the sermon.........(for now!)

How amazing does their plot look? I think the joinery is being painted grey/green so it will look wonderful against the woodland. And I love that rickety fence in the foreground.

As it weathers down it will sit perfectly in the plot - the roof will gather some lichen and the oak will silver. The stone and brick chimney looks good too.

The brick annex is a good alternative to weatherboard, especially with the painted joinery. Perfect.

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