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EVA’S PLACE

RIBA SUFFOLK DESIGN AWARD 2015

The original house at Eva’s Place was designed and built in the 1980s by Clive Latimer, Product Designer and collaborator with Robin Day. It was conceived by Latimer as a prototype for environmentally friendly, sustainable living; utilizing wood stove heating, attempting to incorporate principles of heat storage, exchange and solar gain and designed on a modular system for economy and future reproduction.

We developed the brief with the clients: to remove an existing defunct heat store (conservatory) area; provide a new room; create more floor space; improve the movement and use of the house; give a new focus; bring in light; make a new connection to the garden; and enhance the house.

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We wanted to respect the strong and pure modernist design, and the distinctive form of the original house required a careful and balanced response. The construction budget for the extension was modest, but was allowed to rise during the on-site phase in order to undertake considerable refurbishment to the existing roof and rainwater goods – works which had been anticipated within the contingency.

The design intent for the extension project was that it should be purist in form, detail and material – almost sculptural in essence – and that the materials selected should be clearly revealed and allowed to transform over time without maintenance

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We focused quickly on an internal finish, oriented strand board, that would honestly display its fabrication, installation and method of fixing, without requiring additional finishes and little if any long-term maintenance. The external cladding, Colorcoat Urban, has a life expectancy of 40 years, requires no maintenance and, like SterlingOSB, is also manufactured in the UK. The existing failing rainwater drainage system on the original house was replaced with mill finished aluminium guttering and downpipes.

The clients find the new space enticing and warm; that it bridges the gap between their house and their garden; that it is a space that they can orchestrate and alter with the adaptable OSB furniture which they commissioned for the project. And critically, they find that the project transforms the way they use and enjoy their house.