marks barfield architects: villa hush hush marks barfield architects: villa hush hush
feb 03, 2010

marks barfield architects: villa hush hush

villa hush-hush by steve chilton




specifically created for sensitive sites and affording views, villa hush-hush is designed by steve chilton of mark barfield architects as a new home concept that can disappear into a landscape, but at the touch of a button be lifted above the treetops to provide wonderful panoramic views. in plan, the villa is divided into four clearly defined zones, of which it is possible to elevate two, depending on the internal arrangement and client’s requirements. the clean simplicity of the forms concentrates the relationship between the villa, the viewer and its environment. 

when the structure is all at one level




externally the moving element transforms the villa into a kinetic sculpture. inside, bespoke designs by interior designers candy & candy will frame spectacular views, that would slowly be unveiled as part of the villa rises up above the surroundings bringing the horizon into view, creating a memorable, and heightened feeling.




engineers atelier one designed the lifting mechanism which pushes a support column up out of the ground raising the moving element of the villa from its lowered position to the required height. the lifting mechanism has been designed such that the lifting, at around 10cm per second, is gentle and steady. the moving element of the villa can be lowered more quickly as it is easier to drop the structure than lift it.  this means it would take about five minutes to reach its full height above ground and about three minutes to descend. 





the support column and the moving element of the villa are balanced by 260 tonnes of steel plate acting as a counter-weight suspended in a cradle and guided within a centralinner steel tube structure, and are driven by eight 22kW drive motors, equivalent in total to an energy efficient family sized vehicle.  redundancy is designed into the system of motors and gearboxes such that in the event of failure of a single drive unit the mechanism will function as normal, with no reduction in performance.





working with dynamic specialists motioneering, dampers have been designed into the structure to limit the dynamic response of the structure at various heights and wind speeds to ensure the highest levels of comfort. to maximize the economic efficiency of the structure, the structure is restricted from being elevated during very high winds. the high wind limit for this is around beaufort scale 7 which is described as when whole trees are in motion and effort is needed to walk against the wind. in these cases the moving element of the villa would remain comfortably in its lowered position.

elevation elevation


model of ‘villa hush hush’

model of ‘villa hush hush’

  • yucky

    cidal says:
  • why?

    V says:
  • that’s ridiculous

    chris Wensley says:
  • Crazy!! Very awesome though, wouldn’t mind spending the weekend up there with the old lady

    Darren p says:
  • – i love it ! the sky is the limited
    why not?

    henriette rudi says:
  • wow i love it! very nice concept…why are u saying its not nice?

    erk says:
  • 100 years old concept.. el lissitzky..

    me says:
  • BEHOLD! I give you the wonders and powers of the new hydraulic piston!!!!

    OH WAIT!!

    its 2010!

    updown says:
  • really good

    tinotino says:
  • ISBN Silo

    d2 says:
  • Fantastic! What a beautiful building and idea, i really love the 3rd photo down, such a cool contrast.

    Amanda says:
  • one hit wonder…robbie u aint

    millennialcreepers says:

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