A contemporary, timber-clad, luxury house designed and built to Passive House standards in Hillsborough, Co. Down, Northern Ireland (NI).

Designed to make the most of the long views to the Mourne mountains, on a narrow, gently sloping site.

Comprising of 3 blocks, the front, social area, addresses the public road, whilst the rear block rotates gently, opening up a private courtyard, designed for the evening sun.

Entrance to the house is via the middle block; entering straight into an oversized hall, which doubles as a reading area, overlooking the private courtyard.

The open plan living (kitchen/dining/living) in the front block has views towards the Mournes, and access to the private courtyard; with the advantage of the all-day sun.

Externally, the muted, silvery timber, with its vertical emphasis, beds the house into the landscape, creating a calm and elegant exterior.  The attention to detail; the timber cladding seamlessly extending into the roof; the oversized dormer window in the principal bedroom; the understated but refined stair; gives this house a simple and sophisticated style.

As in all rural houses the ‘front door versus the rear door’ argument raised its head.  As this is a development house, we resolved this by having a hidden, jib door adjacent to the main door; akin to the stately ‘servants access’, straight into the back of house ancillary areas.

The natural timber cladding, visible from almost every room in the house, creates a warmth and rhythm that is calm and restful.

Designed to Passive house standards, this low-energy house creates a thermally comfortable, healthy living environment.  With the timber construction and cladding; and concrete, & concrete products kept to a minimum, we have created a low-carbon, energy-efficient house.