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Commencement : 2018

Completed : 2022


RIBA Magazine, February 2022

Grand Design Magazine, May 2022

Architecture Today, June 2022



Schüco Excellence Awards for Design and Innovation 2022

Best Individual House

Most Sustainable Building


Architect : A-Zero Architects

Giles Bruce, Phillip Toyin, Ross King, Shoichi Sado, Mizue Katayama

Quantity Surveyor : Andrew Morton Associates

Structural Design: Entuitive Consulting Engineers

Contractor :

Phillips Build Ltd.



Glulam/ CLT :

Construkt CLT


Solo Heating

Quarry House

Oxfordshire, UK


This new build house is constructed within the pit of a disused quarry. The site is amazing, nestled between a mature deciduous forest on one side, and open fields on the other. The project was granted permission under Paragraph 79, of the National Planning Policy Framework which requires a proposal’s design to be ‘truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, and would help to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas’.

The starting point for this project was the materials of the site, stone from the quarry and timber from the forest. The house is conceived as two parts. The lower level is built within the quarry pit and hidden from view. the plan is organised around a series of stone walls which run through the length of the house and connect to stone walls within the sunken gardens and landscape beyond. The upper level is a timber frame construction using both glulam and CLT to provide a cantilevered eaves structure which allows uninterrupted views to the vistas beyond.  

The house is organised as around a central double height atrium space, which is flanked by a series of private and semi-private space at two levels, each with their own view to the outside landscaping. The construction is designed to Passivehouse standards.  

The exosed glulam structrue is designed to provide panoramic views to the surrounding woodland

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The above ground super structure of this house is almost entirely fabricated of timber – from the glulam structural frame to the prefabricated timber cassettes that form the envelope. The structural timber structure is fully internalised and stiffened by a series of longitudinal CLT panels which run the length of the building.  The Guest House is constructed in CLT in order to achieve the long span across its section.


The project uses two different timber constructions. In the main house, A glulam frame supports timber casettes externally. In the guest house, the large span was achieved using a CLT envelope.

​In the climate of the UK, the greatest source of energy consumption is space heating. This house is designed to Passive-house standards, meaning that the energy required to keep it comfortable through the year does not exceed 15kWh/m2 .The low space heating demand was achieved through high levels insulation in the envelope, Cordex Filcor structural insulation below ground and a Pavatex wood wool insulation within the timber cassette construction which forms the above ground envelope. All junctions within the construction were simulated to eliminate thermal bridging. High performance glazing by Schucho, is designed to minimises heat loss in winter and solar gains in summer. Infiltration is minimised using an Pro Clima Intello Plus Vapour Check Membrane, and fresh air is provided mechanically, with all heat recovered from out-going air.  


The house still needs a source of heat, and this is provided using a heat pump which harvests heat from a 1,400m2 ground collector located 1m below the landscape. An array of photo-voltaic cells also provides the house with a source of electricity, generating around 3.5 kW in summer. 

Contruction of the envelope and landcaping walls

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Site plan

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Long section

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