RDA Architects plans Passivhaus retreat in the Sussex beauty spot featuring “subservient” palette of timber, brick and glass.


Hideaway house, a 450 square metre family home by RDA Architects is designed to Passivhaus sustainability standards and contains five bedrooms arranged over two storeys.

The project, which has received planning permission, replaces a 1930s bungalow on a site overlooking a lake and ancient woods in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty in Sussex. As such, the challenge was to create “a home which emphasises how sustainability and energy efficiency can be heralded without compromising quality and design.”

The design sees two asymmetric wings extend from a central core, one clad in lock brick and the other in vertically arranged planks of timber. Large sections of floor-to-ceiling glazing break up the areas of brick and timber and make the best of the views.

“The design is purposely subservient to the landscape, using natural materials to soften the strong contemporary forms,” says the south London practice, which was founded by Richard Dudzicki in 1995. “Double height glazing maximises the beautiful views and also allows daylight into the spacious interiors.”

Dudzicki specialises in sustainable building and has delivered a number of certified Passivhaus projects. He part of the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI), a group of architects, engineers and construction specialists working towards a zero carbon future.

Tune in to our webinar Housing – New Models New Lifestyles at 10am on Wednesday 31st March 2021 to hear Dudzicki discuss the lessons learnt from 25 years at the forefront of ecological and Passivhaus design.