Private House


Designed for a friend of the practice, this individual house responds to its exceptional site in a historic Cumbrian town.

The site is one of Cumbria’s best-known market towns, famous for its picturesque collection of narrow streets, alleys and markets. The narrow lane descends steeply from the high street towards the river where a fine panorama over the valley and the countryside beyond has inspired artists such as John Ruskin. The site is known locally as the Old Vegetable Garden and its open space and backdrop of mature trees give long views that are treasured by the local community and neighbours.

The design arranges the bedrooms and a guitar workshop in an L shape around a walled garden at ground level. A planted roof continues the slope of the ground above, giving the effect of a ‘ha ha’, and stone walls unify the ground floor into the characteristic topography of terraces and retaining walls. The upper level of the house is placed to the rear of the garden and takes the form of two pavilions where living and dining spaces enjoy long views to the fells. Externally, the pavilions are clad in zinc, reflecting their simple, lightweight forms and the architectural language of a landscaped setting. A glazed link between the two pavilions provides a central location for the top-lit main stair, which rises from the hallway by the front door at garden level.

Interior views of the house have been withheld at the client’s request.


Project Information

  • Area
  • 386 m²
  • Architect
  • Bennetts Associates
  • Planning Consultant
  • Gerald Eve
  • Structural Engineer
  • David Narro Associates
  • Cost Consultant
  • Bushell Raven
  • Services Engineer
  • Max Fordham LLP


  • 2016
  • RIBA Award – RIBA National Award
  • 2016
  • RIBA Award – RIBA North West Award