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The Lighthouse

Set among 30 acres of parkland and surrounding unspoilt English countryside, this stunning new build 'passivhaus' home is part of a larger estate known as 'The Lighthouse'. "Strength and exceptional quality of architecture" were singled out by the planning committee as key criteria for awarding the challenging planning approval through a method known as National Planning Policy paragraph 55 (NPPF 55).   Read more...

Applying for NPPF 55 is a very difficult and rigorous process with little guarantee of success. The team at CaSA were so focused and confident throughout. They were the key ingredient to achieving consent. It’s sometimes hard to believe we’ve done it.

Simon Williams

Building a new home in the ‘open countryside’ is notoriously difficult. To do so, a building has to be approved under NPPF 55 – and only a handful of applications are successful each year. ‘The Lighthouse’ is one of them and is due to be completed at the end of 2017.

The house is proposed as an exceptionally high standard sustainable building with a minimal environmental footprint both in construction and in use. Our design includes:

• a fabric-first approach to deliver a highly insulated and airtight construction to achieve the exacting German Passivhaus standard

• using natural, unprocessed materials as much as possible

• careful orientation of the building to optimise passive solar gain and minimise heat loss through the glazing

• on-site energy generation with photo voltaic panels.

A single timber clad opening clearly defines the entrance and adds a contemporary element to an otherwise restrained, monumental stone facade. Double height stone walls extend toward the landscape and beyond the roof edge to fully embrace the timber body. The articulated tower façade is vertically and horizontally broken as homage to the tree canopy backdrop, serving to blur the boundary between landscape and building, which is further re-enforced by the integrated landscape design.

The building mass is intentionally restrained to reflect the generally two-storey nature of nearby buildings. The innovative plan shape also serves to break down the volume by restraining the observable volume from any given direction. The use of natural and local stonework, characteristic of the nearby buildings, is an important reference to the rural context. Windows to the public face are kept modest with vertical proportions, a design response that both reflects the nature of the local building style and helps reduce heat loss on north facing elevations.

The project is due for completion on site during 2018.



  • Location:
    Frome, Somerset
  • Size:
    395 Sq m
  • Key info:
    Listed Parkland
    Listed Building
    NPPF 55 House
    Passivhaus
  • Awards:

    Planning gained through NPPF.55