Scotby Development

Highly efficient homes, designed by Black Box Architects.

Designed by Black Box Architects, these highly efficient homes avoid the need for fossil fuels for traditional central heating and hot water production.

It utilises orientation, sunshine, shade, ventilation and optimal material selection. The only technical input being solar roof panels linked to the electrical circuits for hot water storage and air source heat pumps to feed the underfloor heating system.

The houses use solar gain and external thermal insulation to retain heat all year round with solid wall construction and no cavities or cold spots. They use high levels of insulation, airtightness and building materials, offering up to 90% less energy than a standard home. Also offering superior indoor comfort thanks to the consistent temperatures and quality of airflow. They also have the added benefit of reducing both external and internal noise due to the high levels of insulation and triple-glazed windows.

EPC Energy levels of 96% were calculated at pre-build stage, increased to ‘98% efficiency and the further option to reach a full 100% efficiency, a very difficult target to achieve.  An average home in England during 2020 was Band D 60, which demonstrates the difference in applying simple design principles from the beginning with a receptive client.

Lake District Home

Private period home, restored to former glory.

Built between 1862 and 1878, this vast private home underwent an internal restoration and external uplift. Consisting of overhauling period windows, re-slating main roof planes, repair and refitting of dormer window fabric and repairing of the stone frontage. Internally, all rooms underwent extensive renovation over a period of 12 months, bringing the building back to a habitable family house with a fully functioning basement office suite.

The scope of work in this restoration involved clearing out and alteration to the main floors including removal of all remaining fixtures from previous conversions. Despite excellent preservation of key period features such as the impressively large, glazed cupola and elaborate staircase, many cornices had disappeared. Fortunately, remaining cornices and missing features were painstakingly replicated and restored to their former glory. Maintaining a strong and dominant position, although not a standalone building, it nevertheless has an important role to play in the history and social status of Carlisle, resulting in a positive impact on the character of this Conservation Area.

Farlam Hall

Heritage Renovation.

Black Box Architects were appointed by the current owners of the Grade 2 Listed Farlam Hall Hotel, to help with extensive restoration and upgrades of the main building, outbuildings, grounds and new entrance. The project has been ongoing over a period of three years. Work is still progressing in 2022, however, the Hotel is already on the Michelin Guide circuit and part of the worldwide Relais and Chateau chain.

Hidden River Cabins

Luxury event space and accommodation.

A client for over ten years, we were commissioned to design a new hospitality building for Hidden River Cabins in Cumbria. Previous restoration of the original farmhouse received Highly Commended national recognition in the LABC Building Excellence Awards.

This new main event building provides a substantial function venue for weddings and events. Due to the success of previously designed cabins, farmhouse renovation and the restoration of the barn complex, the new hospitality building caters for approximately 150 occupants. Siting the building in an ideal location, it serves as a continuation of the existing development along the river.

The design was intended to maintain a slight agricultural feel in order to give the building a sense of place and, appropriate vernacular. This objective lent itself to a simpler and more economical form of construction method for a building of this size. An equally simple steel portal frame was designed but executed to a higher level – allowing for the eventual choice of external materials and detailing of connections.

The roof is constructed from composite metal sheeting with a cleaner gutter and eaves line.  Walls are clad in reclaimed timber boarding to compliment the surroundings and to reference the existing log cabin structures nearby. Windows facing the river and entrance doors are in a dark narrow profile to maximise the available light into the main room. This barn structure was built to an exceptional level of finish with controlled energy usage, wastewater treatment and surface water percolation.

The Halston

Commercial Interior Architecture.

Assisting the Hotels own team, we acted as consultants to the structure of internal layouts, material specs and general space design. Interior Architecture takes many forms beyond the visible interior design process to deal with not only health and fire safety, but the ability to avoid contractor issues and the impact of surface material choices.