Oyster Falls Stunning Passivhaus Dwelling with Panoramic Ocean Views Completed in 2013, this Passivhaus certified dwelling nestles in its cliffside location with stunning panoramic sea views across Croyde Bay in North Devon. The client brief was for a large family dwelling with an external balcony, hard landscaping and parking. The house was required to sit low in the landscape and have floor to ceiling glazing facing the sea, running the length of the house. The Design Challenge The client requirement for large areas of glazing posed two significant design challenges that made achieving building control approval especially challenging: firstly, the dwelling could experience significant heat loss in the colder months, and secondly the house could experience large heat gains via the west-facing glazing in sunnier conditions.
Greenwood A Remarkable Energy-Efficient House set in the Beautiful North Devon Countryside. The Greenwood project is a unique new build dwelling, set in the beautiful North Devon countryside, close to the village of High Bickington. Gale & Snowden Architects were able to obtain detailed planning permission for this ecological and low energy building on the site of a former single-storey dwelling. The innovative building and landscape design makes the best use of site assets. The dwelling is built into the south facing bank of the valley to maximise solar gains and panoramic countryside views, whilst seeking shelter from cold Northerly winds. The site generates its own fuel and power from coppiced wood, solar thermal and PV panels, and its productive garden provides food for the occupants.
Wonford Road Passivhaus Replacement Dwelling on City Centre Site. Surrounded by Victorian villas, on a site that affords expansive views of the sky, and in spite of its city-centre location, One Wonford Road remains tucked away and out of sight from most passers-by. It was this feeling of seclusion that inspired our clients to purchase the 1960s bungalow and set about creating their new home in a popular residential area close to local independent amenities. The client’s brief was for a highly energy efficient home. Following analysis of the existing building and through close liaison with a cost consultant, it was deemed economically more viable to build new rather than attempt to refurbish and so, planning permission was obtained for a replacement dwelling occupying the original footprint.
RHS Rosemoor A Learning Centre for the natural world. Our brief was to create an environment in which groups of 60 plus children and their teachers would be inspired to learn about the natural world around them. The Peter Buckley Learning Centre nestles under and around a 300-year-old oak tree at the edge of the Rosemoor formal gardens. Its interconnected day-lit classrooms spill out onto a south-facing teaching terrace. The large over-sailing roof offers year-round weather protected teaching opportunities. The roof also captures large volumes of rainwater which is harvested for plant cultivation.
Torrington College A new, inspiring drama suite and arts & humanities classrooms for the college and community. The new drama and music suite offers a confident and visible face to the public street scene. This elegant corner of the school, with its fully glazed music practice rooms presents the college’s best assets, the pupils themselves, to passersby as part of the living architecture of Torrington. At the end of the school, a new art studio and humanities suite completes the campus. The design was finalised following input from the school and all stakeholders, culminating in a presentation to the entire school at an assembly focusing on environmental design and the new school buildings. Spaces are flooded with natural daylight and constructed with natural materials and colours. Viewing galleries enable the art studios to showcase their students’ creations to the school.
Hallsannery Restoring a country house to its former glory. Perched high on the hill one mile from ‘the little white town’ of Bideford, and within 5 miles of the rugged beauty of the North Devon coast, Hallsannery is a late-Regency period, Grade II Listed manor house. Having been used for years as a field studies centre and offices, the once grand, formal rooms were a maze of cellular office spaces, subdivided by partition walls and labyrinthine corridors. Handed down within the same family, the new owners approached Gale & Snowden Architects with a brief to restore and celebrate Hallsannery’s former grandeur, establishing a venue for weddings, holidays, corporate meetings and events.
We believe in an holistic approach to creating excellent and successful buildings, landscapes and experiences that are both people and place specific.
Unifying elegant architecture with low energy principles, building biology, and landscape design, we create beautiful, healthy and uplifting buildings and landscapes. We believe that fully integrated design solutions deliver the most sustainable, low energy and healthy building designs and value for money.
Human health and the health of the environment are at the root of our designs. Buildings and landscapes should nourish us through the use of healthy materials and life-enriching spaces.
Our architecture is grounded in science. Concepts through to completed designs are modeled on sound building physics and biology, ensuring that buildings perform in use as expected.
We believe in a fabric first, optimal-orientation approach to design, reducing the environmental impact of a development, through first minimising the energy demand of a building before adding renewables where appropriate. The result is low-carbon solutions that respond to a changing climate and tackle fuel poverty at the same time.
Through thoughtful design and careful development we enhance our environment. We view human beings and buildings as integral components of the landscape. We follow permaculture principles, a creative design process based on whole-systems thinking, which allow us to reconsider our relationship with the environment and each other. Our focus extends beyond the building and our designs regenerate the environment, working with, rather than against natural systems; integrating people into designed, productive ecosystems.
Working across a wide spectrum of projects has enabled us to develop a coherent architectural language, rooted in the local context and paired with robust, simple and considered constructional detailing.
As a team of architects, mechanical engineers, building physicists and biologists, certified Passivhaus designers and permaculture designers we have spent over 25 years exclusively designing and delivering, healthy, low energy buildings that people love to live, study, work, play in, and enjoy.
Gale & Snowden Architects Ltd is an award-winning, Devon-based RIBA Chartered Practice established in 1992. We work locally and throughout the UK and have links with organisations in Europe