Owen Architects


Cathedral View

Private House, Salisbury



Contract value



Architect / Contract Admin.

An existing bungalow in Salisbury was remodelled to create an energy efficient contemporary home.

Even though it was constructed less than 12 years ago, the original building had poor levels of insulation and leaked with the slightest rainfall. The engineering was complicated by the fact that part of the house cantilevers out over the flood plain.

We investigated several ecological options and incorporated a number of passive features into the design. The external walls were upgraded with better insulation and draught exclusion, with a new highly insulated roof shaped in three dramatic bays. The roof eaves project out to allow solar gain in winter but prevent summer overheating. The large roof area is used for rainwater harvesting for the garden. We fitted underfloor heating and a new fireplace located in the centre of the home to retain thermal mass.

There was previously little connection to the surrounding landscape, with small, low windows failing to make the most of exceptional riverside views. Our client had “bought the view” and wanted us to link the house’s interior to the surrounding landscape. We opened up the rear elevation towards the cathedral, introducing a full width glazed façade with a raised sun deck above the river meadows.

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