Returning from Edinburgh to London, couldn’t resist a detour through the beautiful Lake District and a quick view of this incredible house as featured on Grand Designs. Weather was typically seasonal.. strong winds and hail storms, but this inspiring larch clad house seemed to offer a warm retreat no matter.
Designer: Robert Gaukroger
(* thanks to Robert for permission to wander around the site)
And some more from the Grand Designs feature:
When Robert and Milla Gaukroger find a plot overlooking Lake Windermere in the Lake District National Park, they reckon they’ve hit gold.
The site already has a rather ugly 1980s house on the site but rather than knock it down, Robert plans to incorporate this into a new design which will quadruple its size.
Three large linked extensions will be added, and to cap it, an enormous and very complicated domed grass-covered roof will be constructed over the whole house.
Passionate about sustainability, Robert also designs his own system of heating.
In a build full of risks, the biggest of all is starting with only £100,000 of the £400,000 budget in place.
The original house is going to be pulled, screaming and kicking, out of the 1980s and thrown somewhere into the future. The new home will engulf the old, into a building four times its present size. It should provide a home for Robert’s children that will last them into adulthood.
The roof and the back wall of the existing house will be removed to make way for a rear extension. There’s a home office, playroom, music room and store rooms. On the first floor, there will be three family bedrooms and a large living room.
Robert’s designed a new double height entrance with an enormous, ingenious, six and a half metre high slate wall containing a matrix of hot water pipes heated by a wood burning stove and 80 solar vacuum tubes. It will act like a giant storage heater… or so Robert hopes.
The other half of the house – designed so it can be shut down in the winter to save on heating – will provide three en suite guest rooms for Milla’s family when they visit from Malaysia… and a naturally filtered swimming pool. Upstairs will be a huge open plan studio and kitchen with spectacular views of Lake Windermere.
To soften the impact of this huge house, Robert plans to clad it in locally sourced larch. But it’s its domed roof that will do the most to camouflage this gigantic house into its hillside setting. A complex pattern of wooden frames will form a super-strong structure while the grass will provide excellent insulation.
When Kevin first visits, Robert’s budget is already down from £400,000 to £300,000 because he’s relying on the sale of two other houses. Depending on those, he might also have to sell his motor home, boat and possibly his cars, too.
And to save as much money as possible, the family will need to move into the 1980s house while the building work goes on around them.