Cartmel Contemporary Family Home

The bungalow that used to occupy this spacious plot near Cartmel was dilapidated beyond repair, and the decision to demolish it and start designing with a blank canvas was unanimous. The client approached Ben Cunliffe Architects to mastermind the new design.

The aim was to create a modern, bright and spacious house, with a very high specification and level of finish throughout. Furthermore, the house also needed to be extremely well insulated and environmentally sound, with correspondingly low running costs once completed.

The house was conceived around a large, open plan kitchen and dining area with an attached lounge that can be separated by a sliding screen. This space is accessed from the main entrance hall, where stairs also lead one up to the first floor. Here, the design incorporates four large bedrooms, three with en-suites, and a family bathroom.

A generous double garage allows parking, storage and also houses some of the mechanical plant.

This house was well suited to construction using SIPs (structural insulated panels), a building system where the insulation and structure are provided together in a single panel form. These offer the high performance that was required, as well as being a fast and clean construction method.

Several other innovative, environmental technologies were also implemented. An MVHR system ventilates the otherwise airtight house, while capturing the heat from the warm areas of the house and transferring it to the colder, incoming air. Heating is provided by an air source heat pump. Underfloor heating was ideally suited to the large open spaces on the ground floor, and a wood burning stove keeps the living space feeling homely and cozy, even on the worst lake district days.

Externally, we chose to clad the house with a combination of cedar cladding and traditional Lakeland stonework. The roof is slated withBurlington slate. Although undoubtedly a modern design, the house is also intended to be sympathetic to the surroundings and the local area.

Aluminium clad, timber windows take advantage of the views in all directions.

The finished house feels remarkably airy and light, despite the scale and size. The spaces flow into one another and give a sense of space beyond the actual floor area. We are very pleased with the low operating costs resulting from the insulation and environmental technologies implemented.