Our client for this earth shelter was inspired to start a new, sustainable and self reliant lifestyle on her own land in the west country, including permaculture and renewable energy. To realise this dream a new home was proposed on a small but beautiful site in an area of outstanding landscape value. The challenge of this brief was to to create an unobtrusive sustainable off grid home which will blend into the unique and fragile landscape. Our building was designed to be hidden within the hillside, super insulated and built using a blend of cutting edge technology and natural materials. Heating and water would be provided by a woodburning cooking stove and the need for electricity removed as far as possible. A nearby river offered potential for hydro-electric power with a possible collaboration between our client and surrounding landowners to create a mutually beneficial scheme. 

Despite a protracted and passionate planning campaign, we were unsuccessful at appral and are unable to go ahead with the build for this design at this location at this time. However, we are proud that we left no stone unturned in delivering the best possible case for this proposal.

In Cornwall we believe that there is a long way to go before the planning policies for the delivery of sustainable housing are fit for purpose and we hope to one day build this innovative and beautiful building either at this location or elsewhere, as we sincerely believer that it is a positive contribution to the search for sustainable housing. it will be almost invisable in the landscape and it would have caused no disturbance or harm. Sadly the planners and neighbours disagreed and the new National Planning Policy has made no positive impact to the already negative approach to innovation and change enshrined in the obselete local planning policies which still effect planning decisions in this area.


"Andy and Chau have been a joy to work with. From the onset I had very clear ideas about elements of my project but had no idea how to pull them together to make them work. They listened well, but also drew out of me the drive behind my dream, resulting in a suberb bespoke home while also considering the surrounding environment and fullfilling all my needs. My wish list was very individual but they have never made me feel I was asking for too much."