Pixie's Place [2008]

WINNER 2008 RIBA IOW Award


Pixie's Place, Cranmore

This new house replaced a single storey chalet in the woods at Cranmore built in the 1930’s.

The clients wanted a 21st century eco-home in the style of a rural barn. The project is a self build.

Pixies Place, Eco, Architecture, Isle of Wight


The green systems comprise photovoltaic panels on the roof that power a ground source heating system that powers the under-floor heating and preheats the hot water. The house was designed and orientated to make best use of the sun’s track over the sky.

The house makes more power than it uses which means that the owners sell the excess electricity they generate, thereby receiving a cheque rather than a bill every quarter from Southern Electric.

The house was conceived as a series of Cruck Frames set at 4m centres, large glue laminated timber A frames that rise from steel shoes bolted to the foundations and are linked together by glue lam beams at first floor, purlin and ridge. The resulting frame is then in-filled with highly insulated timber wall panels and clad in vertical cedar cladding evoking the woodland setting.

Pixies Place, Eco, Self Build, Isle of Wight, Architecture

This form of construction meant that the shell of the building went up very quickly leaving the clients with a dry shell to complete themselves in their own time.

The copper clad stair tower punches out of this simple barn form giving the traditional form a contemporary twist and marking the front entrance.

The up-side-down plan places 4 bedrooms, a bathroom and utility room on the Ground floor and the open plan living – dining – kitchen space at first floor level under the soaring roof. A spiral stair leads up to a study in the gods over the kitchen.

At the other end of the first floor the gable end wall is fully glazed with patio doors from the living room leading out onto a roof terrace over the master suite.

A subsidiary garage and studio space over completes the composition, creating an entrance courtyard, the structure being a cut down version of the main house.


Pixies Place, Eco, Home, Isle of Wight

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