We are Somerset and London based designers who produce well crafted, high quality architecture and are pioneers in Passivhaus and low energy Retrofit
IHBC Conference - From Bauhaus to Brutalism
Robert Prewett presented a study on his own deep retrofit of a 1960’s house in south London at the IHBC conference held this year at the Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park. This years theme was From Bauhaus to Brutalism and Beyond. Robert’s aim was to show that conservation of the planet and conservation of our built heritage can be carried out hand in hand. It was especially enjoyable to present after Haworth Tompkins described their wonderful work to the National Theatre. The contrast is scale couldn’t have been much greater. See here for more details on the project.
Planning permission granted for Wiltshire Passivhaus
We have gained planning permission for a new house and artist’s studio in rural Wiltshire. The house will replace a 1960s dwelling and will be built to Passivhaus standard. Its form was developed to give specific views out to the landscape from the upper floor living, kitchen, dining and master bedroom areas. The angle of the house creates two distinct zones of the garden, a sheltered south-facing area between the house and the studio, and a west-facing area that includes a shady dell, with a view north up the paddock and north-west to the sunset. See here for more project details.
Starting on Site at Bear Place
Work started on the site of our barn conversion project in Berkshire last week with repairs to the brickwork of the 1970 barn. The 450 sqm house is in the green belt and is being built to Passivhaus standard under Permitted Development Class Q. Completion is due in Summer 2020. See here for more project details.
We have just received photos of a house we designed 15 years ago and that was built in 2013. It was recently sold by The Modern House and they have generously allowed us to use their images. It is a project close to our hearts as it was the second house we designed after setting up the practice, for a lovely client who subsequently sold the site to a couple who commissioned us to obtain planning permission for a slightly altered design.
The house replaces a single storey vehicle repair workshop in a street of Victorian terraced houses and 1960s flats in Hackney, north London. A rich sequence of interconnected spaces unfolds around a central staircase to create a four bedroom house with a double-height living area on a tiny 90 square metre site.
We are very proud that Patrick McEvoy of our London office is one of 3 winners in a competition organised by the London Festival of Architecture to design a temporary public space for a site within the square mile of the City of London. Architects, designers and artists were invited to submit a design proposal for a parklet that will transform a kerbside area into a place to rest, relax and admire the City – bringing additional life and greenery to the City’s streets and public spaces during the world’s largest annual architecture festival. The proposal will be in place from June 1st - 30th on St Martins Le Grand. See our journal here for more information.
Successful Air-test at South London EnerPHit
We were delighted to see our Enerphit project in Sydenham achieved 0.67 in air tightness testing this week. The project involves the full retrofit of an existing 1960s terraced house including the super-insulation of walls and roof, replacement of existing windows, installation of two light shafts through the house and construction of a guest bedroom/study at roof level. Many thanks to Paul Jennings for completing the test. See here for full project details.
Frome Architecture Club Talk
Graham Bizley will be speaking in Frome on April 2nd 2019 at the Architecture Club under the title ‘In Search of a Rural Architecture’.
A relationship to the rural landscape is deeply embedded in the British consciousness, yet the debate on architecture and the built environment focuses almost entirely on the city. In this talk Graham will explore the contemporary identity of rural areas, how ideas about the countryside evolve in the face of social, economic and political changes, and how we might build in the countryside in a way that is sustainable and enhances a sense of place. Do come along. See the Architecture Club Facebook page for details and tickets.
Site Visit to Malmesbury House
The concrete work and timber framing are almost complete at our refurbishment of a grade II listed house in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. In the new hallway, three in-situ-cast concrete portals frame the front door and the openings into the rest of the house. At the rear a new extension is being made from an exposed spruce timber frame on a concrete plinth that retains the higher garden levels behind. The extension will be clad in zinc and is due for completion in Summer 2019. See herefor more project details.
2019 Ashden Awards Longlist
We are delighted that Prewett Bizley Architects have reached the longlist for the 2019 Ashden Awards. The awards highlight some of the boldest thinking and biggest breakthroughs in sustainable energy and are globally recognised as a mark of excellence in the field of green energy.
Upgrading the UK’s existing buildings is the most effective way of quickly decarbonising our built environment, Retrofitting is becoming more widespread across the UK, despite a lack of government policy to encourage it.
Winners will be announced in July. See the Ashden website for more details.
Somerset Farmhouse Listed Building Consent Granted
We received listed building and planning consent last week from Mendip Council for repairs and extension to a grade II listed farmhouse near Pilton in Somerset. The corten steel-plate ceiling of the extension is proposed as a contemporary take on the 15th Century cross-beam ceilings elsewhere in the house.
Talk at Espacio Gallery, Hackney
Robert Prewett will be talking at the Espacio Gallery in Bethnal Green on 14th December 9:00 - 10:30am.
Wishing your home wasn't so drafty and so expensive to heat? Dreaming of comfort, low energy bills and a tiny carbon footprint? Then do come and listen to the expertise of two architects who can help you make your home full of comfort and joy.
Our refurbishment of the Common Room at the Oxford university Department of Education opened this week. The space has been re-imagined as a ‘garden room’, enhancing the qualities of the 1960s building and better connecting the room to the garden outside. For full project details see here.
Oxford Common Room on Site
Work is underway on our refurbishment of the Common Room at the Department of Education at Oxford University. This is the final sample board. The design aims to improve the social and learning environment by enhancing the qualities of the 1960s building and better connecting the room to the garden outside. Completion due in September, in time for the autumn term.
Air-tightness achieved at Mendip Passivhaus
Works are proceeding quickly on site on our certified Passivhaus project in Somerset. The first phase of spray-insulation has been applied and the Internorm windows were installed in August. The first air-test was carried out this week and achieved 0.36 ACH, well below the Passivhaus requirement. Congratulations to our hands-on client! See here for project details.
Patrick McEvoys's bench in the London Festival of Architecture
We're delighted that Patrick McEvoy, who works in our London office is one of ten winners in a competition organised by the London Festival of Architecture to design a bench for a public space in the City of London. Installed in Jubilee Gardens, Houndsditch, the bench is a memorial to a dog called Geoffrey Barkington. Cast in self-compacting concrete the bench weighs over a tonne.
The Dundon Passivhaus is included in the latest edition of Country Living Modern Rustic, and in the July issue of Red, featuring the wonderful photographs of Polly Wreford.
Graham's review of Feilden Fowles' Food Production Campus for Charlie Bigham's is in the June issue of Architecture Today. Set in an abandoned quarry, not far from our office in Wells, the building breaks the mould of the typical shed with a bold response to its post-industrial surroundings.
On April 28th architecture critic Owen Hatherley will be leading a walking tour of Poundbury, the Prince of Wales' model extension to the Dorset town of Dorchester. Following the tour Graham will be taking part in a panel discussion in the Brownsword Hall. I'll be trying to get past the issue of style to explore whether it is a real model for sustainable development. Tickets are available from the Architecture Foundation here.
Listed Building Consent for Extension to Georgian House
Planning permission and listed building consent have been granted by Camden Council for extension and complete refurbishment of a grade II listed Georgian house in the Bloomsbury Conservation Area. We are currently working on detailed design and work is due to start in Spring 2018
The competition showcases projects completed in the last two years across Greater London, seeking designs that demonstrate exceptional innovation and cost-effectiveness in the delivery of better living space for Londoners.
Prewett Bizley Architects have been appointed by Oxford University Estates Services to carry out a Feasibility Study for improvements to the buildings occupied by the Department of Education in Norham Gardens, north Oxford. The Study will look at how the buildings could be altered to provide more flexible, modern and convivial spaces that might encourage a fertile exchange of ideas and project an identity commensurate with a world-class institution. Read more here.
Sustainability Architect of the Year 2017
We are delighted to announce we have been named Sustainability Architect of the Year at the 2017 BD Architect of the Year Awards. Thank you to all our employees and collaborators for your hard work, and our clients for your determination to make a difference through commissioning us.
Bloomsbury Townhouse in the Evening standard
Our retrofit and refurbishment of a grade II listed townhouse in Bloomsbury, designed in collaboration with Emily Bizley Interior Design is featured in The Evening Standard this evening.
Kentish Town Retrofit Completed
Our extension and retrofit of a terrace house in north London has been completed. The project has reduced the energy use of the house by almost 80% via breathable and ecological insulation approach. See here for more details.
The conference takes place at the Business Design Centre in Islington on Tuesday 25th October and tickets are available here.
Bloomsbury Townhouse in the Architects Journal
Our retrofit of a grade II listed Georgian house in Bloomsbury is featured in the Architects' Journal this week. Carried out in collaboration with Emily Bizley Interior Design the project involved conversion of the building from offices to a single family house with an almost EnerPHit level of energy performance. Click here to read the article.
Visit the Kyverdale House at Open House London
As part of Open House London The Kyverdale House will be open for tours from 10am – 1pm on Saturday 17th September. The Kyverdale house was designed in 2003 and shows how a light and spatially inventive home can be made on a small and awkward shaped site. Around 750 buildings will be open to the public during Open House London over the weekend of September 17 – 18th.
Devon Valley House nearing completion
The scaffolding is down on our almost-Passivhaus project in Devon. The house is clad in larch, with triple glazed windows from Green Building Store. The external porch and terrace structures are built using oak and Douglas fir from trees felled on the site prior to construction.
Bloomsbury House on AJ Retrofit Shortlist
Our recently completed retrofit and restoration of an 1820’s Listed Georgian townhouse in Bloomsbury has made it to the shortlist for the AJ Retrofit Awards, ‘Listed Building less than £5million’ category.
We are pleased that the recently published RIBA book 'Renovations: an inspirational design primer' by Richard Wilcox, includes our 80% house completed in 2010.
The house is living up to its name year in year out, requiring even less energy than we predicted. For those who are interested it uses around 70 kWhr/m2 annually (primary energy excluding the PV), well below the passivhaus target we were aiming at during its design!
New Architects 3
We are delighted to be included in New Architects 3, a book commissioned by the Architecture Foundation to celebrate the work of the most interesting architectural practices established in the last 10 years. The book is published by Merrell and was launched at an event at the Barbican this week.
Very exciting to see the interiors of our almost-Passivhaus project in Devon coming together as the timber frame goes up.
Switch – Frome
Rob Prewett will be speaking at Switch to a Renewable Future, an all day event at the Cheese and Grain in Frome on Saturday March 5th. The speakers will explore how emissions can be cut from buildings, how energy can be generated cleanly and how Frome can move towards becoming a renewable town. Tickets are availablehere.
The Dundon Passivhaus is featured in a new 4-part TV series looking at the most inspiring homes completed in the past year. We are in the first programme, Country Living, on Wednesday 4th November at 9pm.
Retrofit 1960's House Air Tightness Test
We were delighted that our retrofit to a 1960’s house in Sydenham achieved an air tightness test result of 0.6 ach. Congratulations to the build team from Borisa Ristic & Co and to Paul Jennings who kindly carried out the test. Here's to completing the project and proceeding to passivhaus certification next year!
Work Started on Timber Frame House
Work started on site this week on a new timber frame house on a beautiful sloping site in Devon. The house is being built to Passivhaus standard for a young family who work from home, so the house provides a series of living, playing and working spaces over 3 stories.
RIBA Stephen Lawrence Award Shortlist
Very pleased to announce that the Dundon Passivhaus has been short-listed for the RIBA Stephen Lawrence prize, an annual award set up in memory of the teenager who was setting out on the road to becoming an architect when he was murdered in 1993. The prize rewards the best examples of projects that have a construction budget of less than £1 million.
After lengthy negotiations with the local planning authority, we are delighted that secondary glazing has been permitted for a grade II listed building project in Bloomsbury.
This will allow this deep retrofit of a Georgian townhouse to be completed on site later this year, and will mean that the space heating requirement of the house will be within passivhaus retrofit design standards.
The photo realistic view alongside indicates how subtle we expect the secondary glazing to be.
RIBA National Award
The Dundon Passivhaus has won an RIBA National Award! You can see all 37 winners on the RIBA's website here.
The house was featured in the Architects Journal in April and in the March issue of Architecture Today.
We Have Moved
The London Office of Prewett Bizley has moved into the City of London. Our new address is 118a London Wall, EC2Y 5JA. Our new phone number is 020 7256 2195.
Dundon Passivhaus Wins RIBA South West Award
The results of the RIBA South West Awards were announced at a ceremony in Bath on Friday evening. We are delighted that the Dundon Passivhaus has won an award.
The house was featured in the Architects Journal on April 24th and in the March issue of Architecture Today.
Dundon Passivhaus Shortlisted for an RIBA Award
The Dundon Passivhaus has been shortlisted in the annual RIBA awards.
Planning Permission Granted for New Low-energy House
Prewett Bizley Architects has gained planning permission for a new low-energy house on a beautiful wooded site on the banks of the river Exe in Devon. The timber-framed house will be built to near-Passivhaus standard, with large areas of glazing to take advantage of solar gain and the view across the river. Work is due to commence in the Summer.
Planning Permission Granted in Bruton
We received planning permission today for an extension to a grade II listed house in Bruton, Somerset. The project involves reconstruction of the rear portion of the house with a new zinc-clad upper storey and reconfiguration of the external spaces to better connect the deep-plan interior to the rear garden. Work is due to commence in the Spring.
We were delighted to see so many people attend the launch of the 15-40 architecture collective on 28th October at the building centre. For information on what that is go to www.15-40.co.uk.
High Ham House Nearing Completion
The scaffolding has come down on our latest project in Somerset, a house in the hill-top village of High Ham. By enlarging some openings and replacing the windows with single pane sliding doors the connection between the house and the landscape has been transformed. The house now enjoys magnificent views across the Somerset Levels.
We are delighted to announce that our retrofit and extension project to a house in Kentish town has been granted planning permission. As well as being underpinned by a fabric first low energy approach, there is a strong ecological bent to this project. This ambitious project includes internal wall insulation throughout and a modest extension to the rear that transforms the internal planning at ground floor.
UK Passivhaus Conference 2014
Bob presented a 20 minute seminar entitled 'Retrofit- how far to go?'. This was a personal reflection of our experience to date. He is pictured here answering questions following his presentation.
Passivhaus Open Day
We will again be taking part in the annual International Passivhaus Open Days. The Dundon Passivhaus will open to visitors between 1 and 5pm on Sunday November 9th. The open days offer a chance to see how a Passivhaus works and speak to the owners about the experience of living in one. Graham will be leading tours on the hour and will be available to answer questions. The house is very nearly finished but hasn't been certified yet. To book a visit please contact Graham at our Somerset office.
Green Register Talk
Bob delivered a retrofit seminar with Marion his partner to a great audience with lots of pertinent questions. We hope to repeat this event in due course.
Holland Park Mews house featured in Homes & Gardens
The west London mews house we designed in collaboration with Jill Scholes Interior Design is featured in the September issue of Homes & Gardens magazine.
Kyverdale House in Grand Designs Magazine
The house we designed at Kyverdale Road in Stoke Newington is featured in the September issue of Grand Designs Magazine.
In April we gained planning permission for an extension to a Somerset farmhouse. A new kitchen-dining room with a dramatic tilted roof will re-orient the house towards its garden, providing a tall, glazed, open space to contrast with the more enclosed traditional rooms of the farmhouse. The steelwork went up this week and completion is due in September.
Masterclass – Passivhaus Retrofit
Robert will be leading a workshop on 1st May with Mark Elton ofSustainable by Design for the Passivhaus Trust entitled Masterclass - Passivhaus Retrofit. The workshop will focus on what to look out for when designing, specifying, building and commissioning EnerPHit projects. The event will be held at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Places are still available - see the Passivhaus Trustwebsite for details.
Rob will be leading another Masterclass on Whole-house Retrofit on 28th January with Russell Smith of Parity Projects at the CoRE Conference and Demonstrator Centre in Stoke-on-Trent. This masterclass explains the strategy of whole-house retrofit embracing the building fabric, building services and renewable energy systems, in order to achieve deep cuts in the fuel use, fuel costs and carbon dioxide emissions. For tickets & availability please visit CoRE Training Courses.
After many years of deliberation and plain old not-getting-round-to-it we are pleased to announce the launch of our new website! There are still things to tweak and more to add but at least it no longer looks like we died in 2007. We’re very pleased with it - a big thank you to Tracy & team at Somerton Computing.
Residential Retrofit book features 2 Prewett Bizley projects
Both the 80% House and the Retrofit for the Future House are included in a new book Residential Retrofit: Twenty Case Studieswritten by Marion Baeli. Published this week by RIBA Publishing the book presents a series of innovative and best practice case studies of residential low energy retrofit projects, and illustrates what has been achieved in practice in the UK.
Marion is an architect and associate at Paul Davis + Partners. She has received three awards for her work on 100 Princedale Road, the first retrofit in the UK to be certified to the full Passivhaus standard.
Passivhaus Open Day
The Dundon Passivhaus will open to visitors as part of the UKPassivhaus Open Days between 2 and 5pm on November 10th. The open days offer a chance to see how a Passivhaus works and speak to the owners about the experience of living in one. Graham will be leading tours on the hour and will be available to answer questions. The house isn’t finished yet but it’s a good time to visit as some of the ductwork and air-tightness measures are still visible. To book a visit please contact Graham at our Somerset office.
Planning granted at Walter's Way
Planning permission was granted this week for retrofit and extension of a house designed by Walter Segal - our second in 2 months! The two storey house in Walter's Way, Honor Oak Park will be extended and re-organised internally to simplify circulation and make better use of space. Externally the house will be insulated and overclad with new horizontal timber boards, spaced to leave the vertical battens visible behind to preserve the module of the original Segal cladding system.
Rob will be leading a Masterclass on Whole-house Retrofit on 3rd October with Russell Smith of Parity Projects at the CoRE Conference and Demonstrator Centre in Stoke-on-Trent. For tickets & availability please visit the CoRE Events page.
Passivhaus Trust Masterclass
Robert will be leading a workshop on 24th September with Bill Butcher of Green Building Store for the Passivhaus Trust entitled Masterclass in Retrofit. The event will be held at the Saint Gobain Innovation Centre in central London. Places are still available - see thePassivhaus Trust website for details.
Planning granted at Segal Close
We received planning permission this week for an extension to a house designed by Walter Segal in Honor Oak Park. The proposals include retrofitting the existing single storey house with external insulation, a new lounge-dining space and external terrace. The house is part of a development of 7 houses in Segal Close built in the early 1980s by a group of self-builders on land sold to them by Lewisham Council. Walter Segal's approach aimed to simplify the methods of building using standard, off-the-shelf components so that it could be undertaken by anyone. His work is a continuing inspiration to self-builders. We are currently working on extensions to two other Segal houses nearby. The house at Segal Close is currently for sale with The Modern House.
Venice Biennale 2014
In June Graham submitted an exhibition proposal for the British pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Venice Biennale. The title of the 2014 Biennale is “Fundamentals” and overall Director Rem Koolhaas has called on national pavilions to respond to the theme “Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014”. The competition to curate the British pavilion is being run by the British Council. Submitted in collaboration with Rob Gregory , Programme Manager at the Bristol Architecture Centre, our proposal entitled “Landscapes of Modernity” was to explore the character and presence of modernity in rural, suburban and urban contexts by charting changing attitudes and architectural responses to landscape in the period 1914-2014. Ours was one of 4 proposals short-listed. We attended an interview last week but were not successful. The winners are a team comprising FAT Architecture, Crimson Architectural Historians and Owen Hatherley. We greatly enjoyed researching the proposal and Graham will be exploring the subject of landscape and rural architecture further through his blog.
Eric Parry Monograph
Five of Graham’s detail drawings feature in Eric Parry Architects - Volume 3, the monograph series on the work of Eric Parry’s officepublished this week by Artifice Books. Four of the drawings were specially commissioned for the book. We are great admirers of Parry’s work, particularly the way materials are brought together through meticulous detailing in a way that is highly inventive but also part of a lineage of historic architectural forms and cultural associations.
RIBA CPD Seminars
Throughout 2013 Robert will be presenting a seminar with Frances Bradshaw of Anne Thorne Architects as part of the RIBA’s Core CPD programme. Entitled Climate: Building physics and retrofit design, the seminar will be held in 13 different venues across England and Wales. Places can be booked either through the regional RIBA offices or online here.