acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england
 

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england

standing tall in a former apple orchard amid the beautiful landscape of kent is a reimagining of the traditional oast house by london-based studio acme. designed for a family that moved to the english county ten years ago and ‘fell in love with the intimacy and idiosyncrasies of living in circular spaces’, the contemporary dwelling draws closely on vernacular oast houses and their coned roofs that were used for drying hops as part of the beer-brewing process.

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

traditional oast houses are composed of brick turrets with shingle-clad timber roof cones

all images courtesy of acme

 

 

friedrich ludewig, director at acme said: ‘bumpers oast has allowed the practice to return to its roots, exploring new residential typologies grown from the local vernacular context. the form of this building is radically different from any house we have designed elsewhere, informed by an exhaustive research project into the local vernacular and thanks to visionary clients who followed their intuitions with confidence. this house is both contemporary and proud of its kent identity.’

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

to create a very low energy house, the entire building is a highly-insulated timber structure

 

 

the proportions of the tower roundels are based on traditional oast geometries, but stand slightly apart from one another; creating views inwards and outwards. each of the ‘oasts’ contain the more private functions of a home such as bedrooms and bathrooms. the towers between them form a triple-height central space that opens out to the orchard and forms the heart of the house.

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

the polished concrete ground-floor slab, heated via a ground-source heat pump, provides the main source of heat for the house

 

 

kent-style tiles in six shades have been used to create the exterior skin, slowly fading from dark red at the base to orange in the centre and blue towards the sky. laying the tiles relied heavily on local craft skills to create smooth transitions from rectangular tiles for the cylinders to increasingly tapering tiles for the cones. much of the interior of the roundels is clad in plywood, continuous ply in the cylinders and plywood shingles in the cones. curved furniture is built into the rooms to make the best use of the space.

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

view from the first floor

 

 

the building has a finely-layered transition from open to private. the oasts form open pockets of communal space on the ground floor, shared spaces on the first floor, and secluded treehouse-like retreats on the second floor. each of the bedroom spaces are located in a roof cone and arranged over two levels. in the children’s rooms, this creates a play space on the lower level that can later be adapted for study, while the master bedroom is designed with a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom. helical stairs with curved ply handrails lead into the upper conical sleeping spaces.

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

on the first floor, a double height living room is framed by the arched geometry of the intersection of two cones

 

 

all the window openings have reveals formed by the walls folding into them, which increases the light refraction coming into the rooms. the curvatures of each room have necessitated the use of finishes able to deal with that. plywood has been used extensively as it is easy to curve, while in the bathrooms, mosaic tiles and microcement have been used to accommodate the geometry.

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

each bedroom is located in a roof cone and arranged over two levels, this creates a play space on the lower level that can later be adapted for study

 

 

traditional oast houses are brick turrets with shingle-clad timber roof cones. in order to create a very low energy house, it was decided to construct the entire building as a highly-insulated timber structure. the building is also designed to passive-house standards of air-tightness, with the oast cones used to encourage slow air movement and purge ventilation from high level openings during the summer.

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

the master bedroom, plywood has been used extensively as it is easy to curve

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

helical stairs with curved ply handrails lead into the upper conical sleeping spaces

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

the super-insulated envelope was a fundamental requirement for the project’s sustainability targets, helping to reduce the dependence on heating/cooling systems

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

night view

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

laying the tiles relied heavily on local craft skills to create smooth transitions from rectangular tiles for the cylinders to increasingly tapering tiles for the cones

acme creates a contemporary oast house amid the rolling landscape of kent, england designboom

the project transformed the brownfield site with the introduction of the oast house and an extensive landscaped area seeded with meadow flowers to encourage biodiversity

 

 

project info:

 

project name: bumpers oast

location: kent, united kingdom
client: private
date: 2012-2019
status: completed
size: 230 m2
construction cost: £900,000
architect: acme (alia centofanti, nicholas channon, deena fakhro, catherine hennessy, katrina hollis, kevin leung, friedrich ludewig, lucy moroney, heidrun schuhmann, penny sperbund)

consultants:
structural engineer: AKT
planning consultants: barton willmore
MEP: furness green partnership
building control: wilkinson construction consultants
environmental consultant: etude
contractor: harry barnes

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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