Magdalen House was designed as part of a small rural infill development in the grounds of Rectory House, standing in a large plot on the edge of the village settlement of East Worldham, situated within the South Downs National Park.

The ‘upside down’ arrangement of the house organises bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor, each facing east into the garden, with a single large open plan living area on the first floor linking to an extensive cantilevered balcony with structural glass balustrade. The internal character is defined by a series of double height and linking spaces that add to the lightness and airiness of the interior.

The design adopts ‘fabric first’ methodologies to maximize environmental efficiency and comfort: this includes the orientation (predominately to the east for early sun but with shaded westerly orientation for good natural light but low solar gain); renewables technology in the form of a ground source heat pump for heating and hot water, with under floor heating providing consistent and comfortable internal temperatures; a ventilation system to the bedrooms that takes the heat from the air and replenishes the ground source loops with the collected heat; rainwater harvesting for flushing toilets, laundry, and irrigation; and photovoltaic cells for electricity generation.

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