The Nutmeg House is a special home set in the idyllic countryside of Dorchester near the southern coast of the UK. Designed by Barnaby Gunning Architects, the new home replaced a worn-out and sprawling bungalow. The shape of the home is a superellipse, which allows for a balance between the rectangular and elliptical proportions. The walls are curved and yet they feel somewhat flat. Making use of passive solar design strategies and local, sustainable materials, the Nutmeg House also generates its own energy with a photovoltaic and solar thermal system on the roof.
The design for the Nutmeg House evolved to fit in with the surrounding landscape and to reduce its impact. The footprint of the new home is considerably smaller than the original home and provides more space for a yard and garden. With the superellipse shape, the home is oriented to the east and west and the curvilinear shape is organic, but still useful with almost straight walls. The shape also allowed the home owners to maximize their interior space, while minimizing the exterior and necessary materials. The two-story, 3,121-square-foot home features the public living spaces and utility areas on the ground floor with the private bedrooms above. Built on a budget, the Nutmeg House by Barnaby Gunning Architects also has a high level of craftsmanship.
The architects worked closely with local environmental engineers Brooks Devlin to ensure the home was energy efficient. A tight envelope with high levels of insulation, triple-paned windows and a HRV minimize energy loss, solar passive design uses the sun’s free energy and natural ventilation provides cooling when needed. The unique reverse barrel roof provides an angled space for a solar thermal and photovoltaic system for domestic hot water and energy generation. Materials were sourced locally where possible and all the wood is FSC and PEFC certified. Untreated timbers on the exterior will weather with time and help the home blend in more with the surrounding forest.
Images © Barnaby Gunning Architects