IN­SIGHT

Creating a nat­u­ral­is­tic home

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS -

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

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