Hopton Yard

Hopton Yard is a ‘close’ of 4 houses in a former gravel pit site in east Suffolk, for Nest Development. The topography of the site heavily influenced the design, as the northerly aspect presents expansive rural views over the surrounding water meadows, while the site itself is partly dug into the hill as a result of its former use.

The four houses each respond to this setting in individual ways - in particular, maximising the views over to the north through first floor living spaces in each of the three dwellings on that side of the site. South-facing gardens sit between the houses and the shared driveway, creating a more layered and private relationship between the public and domestic spaces. Native hedging softens the parking and garden edges, and there is a fruit tree in each garden, and specifically chosen plants for the steep banks.

The development has been shortlisted for a Housing Design Award 2017.

The external form and materiality is a contemporary interpretation of vernacular precedent - pitched roof volumes clad in a ‘wrap’ of hand-made hung tiles, enclosing gable ends in white-painted timber weatherboarding. Contemporary detailing brings a crisp finish, with concealed gutters and slender brick chimneys expressed on the side walls.

Internally the houses are generous, both in terms of floorspace, and ceiling heights. All the dwellings use the pitch of the roof forms to create height internally, and one of the houses has all its living accommodation on the first floor under a dramatic barn-like roof with exposed rafters and rooflights. The plans are designed to be flexible as to future use, with rooms that could be used as sitting rooms, bedrooms or home offices, as desired.

Photography: Alex Sarginson. Living room interior photograph by The Modern House.