The Gray House


Previously the site of a collection of pole barns, this new build house is in a Conservation Area and 100m from a Grade I Listed church.

It was supported by planners however as a ‘responsible development within a conservation area’. The house incorporates many sustainable initiatives, including; solar, thermal, grey water recycling, an underfloor heating system and a sedum blanket (turf roof).

Cob repair and extensive conservation work was carried out on the perimeter wall.

17m long glu-laminated beams with columns form the structural system, this is not only economic and efficient but ‘nods’ at the history of the site, it was a farmyard with a collection of pole barns built around the perimeter in a rather ‘agricultural’ way.

Client Conclusions


pdm Design has created for us, a contemporary family living and working space beyond our expectations.
With it’s contemporary design and also built in a sensitive area (within a Conservation Area and over looked by a Grade 1listed church), the house has provoked debate, controversy and support from all sides of the community.

The brief was to design an open plan family house, with loads of light and space for the children and adults alike, that would meet with our changing needs over many years to come. To further add to his challenge, we wanted as many environmental and sustainable design and build features as possible.
We had a very tight budget and a plot with existing tin roofed buildings made from a mix of block work, and cob and stone which had to be integrated in the final design.

Designing and building a house requires a successful two way client/architect relationship. pdm Design offered really useful advise and techniques to help us identify and communicate our needs and design preferences.

The design, (including clear plans and a model) and the application submission demonstrated great professionalism and understanding of the bureaucratic framework that is our planning process.
We are very happy with the result and wouldn’t think twice about retaining pdm Design in the future.