VESP Architects have received planning permission for River House, near Exeter in Devon. The proposals for River House were taken on an extensive and complex planning journey, including consultation with flood engineers, Natural England and the Environment Agency. The site sits immediately adjacent to a fluctuating river environment and SSSI, with sections of the plot sitting in flood zones 1 and 2. On request from initial objections, the building was moved away from the river to provide an 8m threshold from the bottom the river bank to the building footprint. After much negotiation, approval was granted by East Devon District Council in February 2023.
River House is a single storey 3-bedroom replacement dwelling of 150 sq m. The house has been designed to delicately sit upon upon screw pile foundations, which allow the property to hover elegantly over the sensitive riverside landscape. A cantilevered timber deck floats out from the primary structure, underneath the hipped and cantilevered slate roof. The house is timber framed and clad in stained larch; designed to sit peacefully within this natural setting. Sliding timber screens filter direct sunlight and provide privacy and a layered elevation. The building utilises sustainable building methods and technologies, with solar PV and an air source heat pump servicing the underfloor heating system. The building has been inspired by Australian tree houses and mid-century pavilions, with elevations that can open and close to suit the ever-changing external environment. The vaulted kitchen and living space faces South-East with breath taking views over the river and the protected SSSI. The master bedroom occupies the North East corner, overlooking a small natural island, formed by the rapidly moving river currents. The project is due to commence on site in the Summer 2023.
Below are some visualisations, produced in-house as part of our design process at VESP architects. For more information, or to discuss your own project, please contact us here.