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Projects > Community

This eco-housing development is a way of providing low-cost housing in the rural village of West Marden in the heart of the South Downs National Park.  The housing will be built using local, natural materials, with involvement from the local community.  We have consulted the local Parish Council, had pre-app advice from the South Downs National Park Authority, we've had a community engagement day and done a presentation to the SDNP Design Review Panel. 

The average house price in this village is currently over £750k. This proposal is for ten modest cottages, 60% of which will be affordable housing for local people.  The development is likely to follow a CLT (Community Land Trust) model, and includes a shared green space for use as a small park, playground or community orchard, which will help connect the new housing with the existing village community. 

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Local timber bus shelters

Commissioned by the South Downs National Park, in 2015 we designed sculptural bus shelters to be placed throughout the river-side village of Itchen Abbas.  The criteria was to use locally sourced timber to create the bus shelters, and by doing so to support and promote the use of sustainably managed local timber in construction.  The design was inspired by the village's meandering river and fishing popularity, and uses coppiced sweet chestnut for the roundwood frame, for the woven sides and timber shingles on the roof.  Three of these bus shelthers were built in the village in 2015 by local craftspeople, Artizans of Wood. 

Community development

This scheme is to explore ways of developing a rural community of houses with shared land and facilities.  Land use has become a important issue to us, and this way of developing in rural areas aims to make the most of the land without over developing it, to benefit the soil, increase biodiversity, reduce energy consumption and strengthen existing rural communities.  The shared land that is allocated to this community of houses is secured for food and fuel production, allowing the community to be self-sufficient, even in a post peak-oil world.  The design includes high quality communal spaces and facilities including a hall, playground, storage, workshops, offices, gardens and greenhouses.  Creating a community like this is Janna's life-long ambition, and she is currently gathering a group of interested people in the south of the UK and developing the scheme further in her spare time. 

Art Centre & Town Development

Whilst studying at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Janna was set this conceptual project to design a redevelopment of part of Digbeth, in Birmingham, including the Custard Factory Arts Centre.  Janna's design aimed to draw in the public and benefit small businesses.  There are lots of facilities provided including workshops, studios, meeting rooms, shops, a library and gallery spaces.  A cafe and community vegetable garden were at the heart of the project as well as the aim to better connect indoor and outdoor spaces, linking the new development to the existing buildings. 

Co-housing in Wales

Whilst studying at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, Janna was set this conceptual project to tackle putting housing on a very challenging site in Machynlleth.  Janna's design has three raised terraces of eight affordable houses set in a landscape of shared walled gardens, communal facilities and flood water management systems.  The buildings themselves are designed with a timber frame, strawbale walls for insulation, local slate wall cladding and a barrel-vault green roof with steep pitches at one end.  Internally, each house has a single-glazed solar space along the front, ideal for growing veg and drying laundry, and a cool pantry on the north side for food storage. 

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