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Contour House

Sanei Hopkins Architects

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  • Structural Engineer: Elliott Wood Partnership
  • Mechanical Engineer: Max Fordham
  • Landscape Architect: The Landscape Partnership

Project Status


Year Completed



1,083 sq. meters
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This project is on the longlist for the RIBA 2016 House of the Year Award.

Project Description


Contour House nestles in the rolling hills of the Peak District National Park, following the contours of the land to create a curving linear plan. This plan, with circulation zones either side of a series of open plan spaces, frames the landscape perfectly and provides a simple, elegant layout for a family home.

The brief was for a family home which was open, light and contemporary, using high quality traditional materials and taking maximum advantage of the views towards Chatsworth to the south and Baslow Edge to the north east.

Externally the use of local stone flowing seamlessly from the walls to the roof creates a subtle contemporary vernacular that sits perfectly in its setting. The stone is the by-product of shallow excavations required for a new agricultural building at a nearby farm and was delivered and wholly sorted and processed on-site. The stone surface protects the membrane underneath and will weather over time to develop character in a similar way to the typical dry stone walls of the Peak District.

The judges were particularly impressed by the efforts made by the architects and the client to source local materials and embed sustainable design principles in the project's core. The house has been designed to meet the current and future needs of a young and growing family, utilising both local and renewable materials where possible and generating electricity using the ground as its primary heating source to minimise energy consumption. This is a thesis on how contemporary architecture can work within the setting of a nationally protected asset.
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