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Oak Tree House 


Blackheath, London, United Kingdom


Client: Private

Status: Complete

A light touch timber frame house in the garden of a locally listed Georgian House in Blackheath. The scheme is formed by two single storey pavilions arranged around a mature Oak tree; asymmetrical in plan, the two pavilions exploit the sites orientation to allow
morning light into bedrooms and evening light into the living spaces, whilst ensuring the retention of the existing landscape.
Primarily inward looking the fenestration is arranged to allow for appropriate levels of privacy into the building and to its neighbours. The internal faces of the two pavilions lead onto a central open courtyard and out to the garden beyond. Rooflights provide additional natural daylight, and solid openable door vents allow for cross ventilation in the summer.

Designed to leave no trace if removed, the simple timber frame structures are sat on screw piles which raise the building off the ground. Materially, the building embraces its limited complexity and eschews pageantry; black stained English larch batons are arranged carefully to provide a rich texture whilst a delicate metal datum express the mirrored monopitch
roofs of the two pavilions.

The project performs well sustainably with a relative embodied carbon of 662 kgCO2e/m², which meets the RIBA 2025 targets. It falls just short of the 2030 target (625 kgCO2e/m²) primarily due to the inherent inefficiencies of a single story building, as well as the
necessary split arrangement around existing Oak Tree. Due to the amount of timber used on the project, the house acts as a carbon sink for an estimated 39.4 tonnes of biogenic carbon, more then half of the total embodied carbon footprint of the project. The project utilises an air source heat pump and solar panels are located on the roof of one of the pavilions, located to ensure no overshadowing from the Oak Tree.


Site Photos 

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