The Permahaus 2
Here is the second part of our series on our competition entry for the Ecohouse competition run by the British Home Awards 2014.
The site for the competition was not specific – it was to be on one of several sites owned by Habitat First, providing holiday dwellings.
The ecology of the site and surrounds was of paramount importance, and the house had to achieve passivhaus standards. The use of a permaculture design approach to the site and to the occupants experience seemed an obvious fit. There are 12 principles of permaculture design built around a core of ethics allowing a holistic design perspective.
We took the approach that visitors would enjoy being actively involved in the landscape during their holiday and feel connected to the ecological systems around them in a hands-on way. They would be free to harvest whatever produce might be grown, and be mindful that others would also be able to do the same after their visit.
We wanted to inspire a sense of enjoyment and guardianship and for visitors to have an experience of a collective responsibility towards the landscape and the house in an idealistic and practical way. Their stay would allow an insight into how the site evolves through the seasons and over time.
Here’s how our thoughts translated into a design.
• Link the activities to a local support system e.g. charcoal from on site coppice for barbecue
• On site planting for food production and harvesting e.g. fruit bearing trees and shrubs
• Gradual transition between precisely controlled interior space (passivhaus) through transition space close to the house to a gradual sense of the wild outdoors
• Planting to modify and enhance the internal climate
• Encourage wildlife to the door and close around the house with bird and insect friendly planting
• Allow people to witness and observe and directly participate in the ecological habitat as a full sensory experience
Click Here for the First sheet of 3 of our submission