Designed to accommodate three generations of the same family, Haycroft Gardens is a sustainable, three-bedroom house in north west London by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects. The infill site was originally occupied by a dairy farm, and the new single-storey dwelling is intended to evoke traditional agricultural outbuildings. A greenhouse, which was originally part of the farm, has been repurposed as a light-filled lobby and now forms the centrepiece of the multi-level garden.
The project responds to range of issues, including the increasing cost of care for the elderly and childcare, the need for low-energy, sustainable construction, the costs associated with development and densification, as well as the need for ventilation options to limit virus exposure.
Designed and constructed according to Passivhaus principles, the structure is formed from prefabricated timber cassettes, which were taped and filled with insulation on site to ensure a high- levels of airtightness. Heating is provided by an air source heat pump, while MVHR provides controlled ventilation. Simple controls and opening windows place users at the centre of the design. The architect worked closely with sustainability engineer Etude to ensure the key principles and details of the project were understood and communicated to all involved.
An L-shaped plan encourages visual connection between the different parts of the house. The open-plan kitchen, dining and living space allow the three generations to socialise around a central hearth. This contrasts with the quieter spaces for each individual, which include window seats and a reading nook, in the more private bedroom wing.
The sedum roofed entrance is filled with natural light, which is reflected in the poured terrazzo flooring. The kitchen and living areas utilise a poured natural resin floor made from plants. Engineered, brushed and band-sawn oak is used in the bedrooms and corridor to provide a sense of restfulness and warmth. Colours are themed throughout, ranging from muted grey and green to yolk yellow, set off by the pure white walls.
Externally, cedar cladding is used in various forms and textures, from timber shingles to boarding and solid reveals that will weather to a silvery grey. Corrugated metal highlights the feature window seats and allude to the site’s agricultural past.