Caretaker's House

The Caretaker’s House is based on a schematic design by students of the AA’s Intermediate Unit 2 in 2009-10, which was then developed for construction by Invisible Studio. It is exemplar of low cost timber building - using only green timber grown and felled on site. The building uses unseasoned larch/cedar/poplar/douglas fir/spruce as appropriate, uses wood for heating and also for insulation. It is (as far as we are aware) the world’s first green timber building insulated to passivehaus standards, with passivhaus airtightness.

The key move of the building is the ‘heavy’ north wall to provide privacy and insulation, while opening to the south where there is a large inhabited verandah conceived of as an extension to the living space. The roof form is generated by, at one end, the need to gain maximum east sunlight penetration into the master bedroom, and at the other end, a living space with high natural surveillance over the campus.

Architect: Invisible Studio (Piers Taylor)
Engineer: Buro Happold (Natasha Watson)
Main contractor: Greenheart Sustainable Construction

Completed: 2012

Students: Harshit Singh Kothari, Rebecca Spencer, Elisha Nathoo, William Stanley, Beom Kwan Kim, Andrea Gillow Kloster, Harpreet Marway, David Hellstrom

Tutors: Martin Self, Charles Walker