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UNDERGROUND ECO HOUSE: Snowden House
Design firm Crawford Partnership is out to prove that modern living doesn’t require a large footprint, and that sites once used as a repair and lock-up garages make equally excellent sites for a new home. Snowden House and Snowden House II, the two homes in London, show how creative floor plans can accommodate an incredible amount of day lighting and make excellent use of passive cooling while providing ample private outdoor space. Taking Lessons from the first home, Snowden House II goes further to include make the entire house a passive thermal store to help run the wet underfloor zoned heating system, a green roof, and makes full use of the stable temperature that comes naturally when building underground.
Snowden House sits on what used to be the site of a former MOT repairs garage. Three stories low, an underground house, the design encompasses the philosophy of the Crawford Partnership which pursues ideal modern day urban living, even when the plots are small and the land is a premium. The two-storey internal atrium allows light to get into every story of the house. The electric glass sliding roof brings the outside in as well as glazing that comes from ceiling to floor on one wall of each of the two bedrooms.
Snowden House II is located in the North Kensington Conservation Area on a site formerly occupied by two one-story lock-up garages. One of the requirements of the Kensington and Chelsea Planning Authority was that the new house not exceeds the height of the original buildings, which was no longer than 3 meters above the ground level. As with Snowden House I, open light wells allow light to get down to the rear garden levels and each of the three bedrooms. Landscaped by award winning garden designer Paul Cooper, he has included gardens on each level as well as one on the roof. The house takes full advantage of being sunken into the ground using 10%-15% less energy than it’s equivalents above ground.
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