In August 2011 Pringle Richards Sharratt obtained planning consent for a new PPS 7 country house at Alderbrook Park, a 340 acre estate near Cranleigh in Surrey. The new house occupies the site of a former Norman Shaw house demolished in 1956.
The project goes beyond the reinstatement of the original country house and includes proposals for the enhancement and restoration of the entire estate, bringing back into use historic estate buildings, structures and landscape features.
The client and the design team worked hard to produce a scheme that is exemplary in terms of both architecture and sustainability. Sustainability being one of the main drivers in this project; it is seen as an inextricable constituent of the master planning, landscape design and architecture concept, not a ‘bolted on’ extra. This approach was instrumental in obtaining planning consent in the Green Belt and Surrey Hills AONB. The scheme was developed in close consultation with local amenity groups and the South East Region Design Panel who supported the scheme. In their final letter SERDP said:
"We believe this is potentially a very fine scheme especially in the light of the most recent changes"
" We support the rationale of positioning a new house on site of the Shaw mansion, taking advantage of the best views a new appropriating elements of the historic parkland and ancient woodland. A fine building new building that responds to its context would manifestly enhance the site"
" The building materials will clearly be an important part of the architecture and we think are well chosen, acknowledging the local vernacular"
"The most conspicuous elements and the most striking aspect of the composition will be the asymmetrical pair of steep roof"
In the new house, two imposing courts act as giant lungs for the building moderating the environment in the environmentally closely controlled spaces arranged around them. The courts act as both solar collectors in winter and repositories of cool night air in summer; from these spaces air, naturally tempered by a labyrinth of ducts in the ground below the house, is circulated through the living and sleeping accommodation. The house is clad in locally sourced brick and the large roofs have a glulam structure and are clad in a bronze roofing system with integral solar thermal water heating system.