Kent architecture

The Kent house is inspired by sights and the vintage Brownie camera

The Kent house is inspired by the Brownie camera

Senior director of London architecture studio TP Bennett, Doug Smith, reveals Haus on the Ridge, a Passivhaus house in the Kent countryside

The Brownie, the series of cameras made by Eastman Kodak at the start of the 20th century, inspired Haus on the Ridge, reveals the architect and owner of this Kent house, Doug Smith, principal director of TP Bennett. Nestled in the green English countryside, the house, created with project architect Sam Clarke, is not only a remarkable family home, but is also designed according to the principles of sustainable architecture and follows the strict standards of Passivhaus. .

“As architects, we all dream of designing and building our own home. After becoming interested in the Passivhaus concept early on, this project gave me the perfect opportunity to challenge myself and Sam by combining clean, minimalist and exceptional design with the Passivhaus sustainability credentials,” says Smith. His wife, Wendy, adds: “The Passivhaus layouts bring a level of comfort to the design standard and more. The simple and mostly open living space, with its incredible interaction with the outdoor space and the rural setting, makes living in the house a joy.

The Kent house nods to the shape of a Brownie camera

Building on the site’s long natural views over a protected valley, the house has a low profile, split into three distinct elements – similarly to the Brownie. Two stronger wings flank a glazed central element that acts as the “lens” of the house. This opens up to incredible green views and houses a generous open-plan living space. Four bedrooms are located on either side of it.

Eco-friendly strategies include careful insulation with rockwool quilt, triple-glazed openings and all-around airtight construction; shading that helps control indoor temperatures; and mechanical ventilation with a heat recovery system (MVHR). You wouldn’t be able to tell, however, as all the technical aspects are carefully hidden within the raw materiality of the house, which is mostly made up of concrete, steel elements, whitewashed oak joinery and stone walls. white plaster.

It all comes together perfectly in this Brownie camera-inspired Kent home that feels entirely at home on its steep, south-facing hillside in rural England. §