A beautiful site with great views over the Weald of Kent. A brief that called for a house borne out of a strong affinity of place. A client that likes calm, peaceful rooms and spaces – the serenity derived from the proportions as well as the ‘weight’ of the construction and choice of materials... and how the connection between inside and outside is handled. Our design offered a singular, repetitive form in two distinct parts – a domestic realm to the western end and a storage/guest wing to the east. These elements are arranged around a central garden court that contains the swimming pool. These are masonry elements that create a rhythm and a bay structure that directs the views southwards. This masonry base provides ‘weight’ and permanence. The house nestles into the rising ground, while a narrow zone to the rear creates an entrance zone and court. The south facade is a series of deep masonry piers that frame the views and provide solar shading. A garage element faces eastwards, away from the view, to receive cars. It incorporates a guest bedroom and a garden store – as well as a small basement for plant to serve the house and pool. The house contains living spaces that have a direct connection with the garden. The main living space is essentially open plan but sub-divided by a chimney to create some definition between the living and dining/kitchen spaces. A second living space looks east into the pool garden court. Bedrooms and bathrooms sit at first floor within a metal-clad volume. A balcony invites outside appreciation of the elevated view, with the top of the masonry wall set low enough to enjoy views while sat in bed. The staircase arrives at a gallery, providing a place for play or study. The building orientation provides significant opportunities to exploit solar gains, with the proposed exposed thermal mass reducing the diurnal temperature changes within the house. 1.2m overhangs combined with the vertical fins on the ground floor minimise the solar gains from both the higher-angled summer sun and the hot lower-angled west sun retrospectively. They do however still allow the sun’s energy to penetrate into the building during the winter. This strategy could give a 30-35% reduction on solar gains. The size of the site led to the adoption of slinky’ ground source heat pump (GSHP) technology, interfacing with a ‘wet’ underfloor heating system to provide space heating. Operating in reverse in summer it would provide cooling.