Cobtun House

A private house on a Conservation Area site overlooking the River Severn, the client requested that ecological and sustainable concerns were considered.

The house is made from local oak and glass abutting an unusual wall of red earth. Against this encircling wall and buffer spaces to the north, a south-facing open-plan layout opens out to a terrace a grass meadow with distant views beyond. The vertical volumes of chimney stack and principal bathroom are finished in render using sand from the site itself. Low environmental impact materials and construction are used throughout, including recycled cellulose, timber, and the site earth. Energy conservation measures include solar panels, rainwater reclamation and a passive solar strategy with vines giving seasonal shading.

The house was featured by The Architects’ Journal and The Observer’s architectural critic Deyan Sudjic, who described “its aesthetic qualities [as] like a seamless three-dimensional Richard Long wall piece” and commented “it’s an advertisement as much for the pleasure to be had in building…as a manifesto for sustainability”.

Despite its small scale, the BBC cited “an outstanding work of modern architecture capable of becoming a future building of wider significance”.


RIBA Architecture Award 2005
RIBA Sustainability Award 2005
Worcester City Design Award 2003

Rough Guide to Sustainability, Brian Edwards. RIBA 2005
The Architects Journal, November 2004
The Observer, November 2004
BBC Online, December 2003
Channel 4 voted Cobtun in the top 5 Eco Buildings in the UK. 2007

Building Activity