Creating a naturalistic home
Renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright first coined the phrase ‘organic architecture’ to describe ‘ buildings that are inspired by nature, and are sustainable, healthy, conserving and diverse.’ Ideally, organic buildings will enhance the site they are on and blend into the landscape. Building in this way offers the chance to create a unique home with a strong connection to the surrounding land.
Planning your build
First, you need to clarify your vision. How much do you want your home to blend into the landscape? How will the surrounding area influence the design? If you haven’t yet found the right plot, plotfinder.net and plotbrowser.com are both good tools. You will then need to recruit an architect with a particular interest in sustainable builds, plus you may wish to hire a landscape architect, too. It is important to identify the plot’s unique challenges early on, as these will have a major influence on the design. For example, sloping terrain can make coastal builds quite challenging, but on the plus side they can offer great views. An organic build’s setting should also inspire many of the materials used in its construction. By making use of sustainable building materials, organic builds tend to have a lower carbon footprint, and are more eco-friendly and energy-efficient than conventional builds. They are also more ‘ breathable’ and have lower humidity levels, which make them healthier and more comfortable to live in. Using local materials keeps transportation costs down and environmental impact to a minimum. Builds like these may require higher initial investment than conventional projects, but bear in mind that energy consumption and maintenance costs are likely to be lower, so an organic build can still prove cost-effective in the long run.
Benefits and drawbacks
Be inventive with the shape and lines of the build
Opt for a finish that blends into the surroundings
Go for a plot with a view you will never tire of