Toat Orchard
Horsham, West Sussex
A contemporary new-build property in rural West-Sussex,
the design responds to the constraints and opportunities
of a unique site through layout, massing and form.
A robust palette of dark blue brick, composite timber and
zinc enhances the form of the buildings and provides
visual contrast against the natural setting.

Toat Orchard
Horsham, West Sussex
Stages Completed
Toat Orchard is a beautiful rural site in Bashurst Hill, currently occupied by a large 6-bed dwelling dating back to the 1960’s. The existing property is of little architectural value and the orientation and layout do not take full advantage of the setting. With this in mind the client decided to demolish the existing building, and tasked MortonScarr to design a new contemporary house in its place.

The brief was to design a new 5-bed property, similar in size to the existing, that would be arranged to suit the needs of the client and take full advantage of the site. MortonScarr carried out a feasibility study to explore how this could be achieved, exploring options for where the new house might be positioned on the site, and how this might best capture the natural light and maximise views. Once a single concept layout was agreed, proposed massing designs and material options were reviewed to ensure that the building design worked harmoniously with the tree-lined surroundings.

The proposed building is formed of two main two storey blocks clad in smooth blue brick, accented with an articulated timber cladding to specific areas of the ground floor. The blocks each have mono-pitched butterfly roofs which will be clad with zinc. A central ‘link’ structure connects the two blocks and is distinct in its materiality so as to create a contrast. The ground floor consists of the open plan kitchen and dining space, with large sliding windows to each side providing views through the site from each side of the building, whilst enabling them to be fully pulled back and the owners to enjoy living outside. At first floor, vertical timber cladding provides an articulated ‘solid’ feel, with windows positioned behind to create some privacy screening, as well as shading from solar gain.

Full planning permission was granted for the design in June 2018.
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