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Grays Inn Buildings

Camden Design Award-winning affordable housing in Clerkenwell, London.  104 Apartments including 10 disabled units, 74 new build and 10 refurbished units.  The new insertions are respectful of the historic Victorian architecture replicating and yet softening the massing and layout of the former tenement block.  The new stair and lift cores are expressed in coloured concrete.  Coloured glass bridges link the original facade and animate the rear elevation.  Alex Hills with Jestico + Whiles Architects London, UK.

Straw Bale House

a 550sq.m Straw Bale House on a dramatic 2.5ha cliff-top site near Wollongong, Australia.  As well as the super insulated straw bale walls and high performance glazing the scheme also included a new habitat for endangered frogs, extensive rainwater collection, solar thermal hot water, photovoltaic solar array, vegetable garden, worm farm and Enviroflow biological waste water system.  The original design emphasised the contrast between the rustic curved bale walls and the clean lines of the roof and windows, however the clients opted for engineered square wall finishes.  Alex Hills with CP Architects, Sydney, Australia.

The Plant Room

The Plant Room is a prefabricated room that bolts-on to a variety of existing apartment types.  It is designed to improve the quality of apartment living while reducing the energy and water use of it's occupants.  A Plant Room provides hot water for one occupant and a healthy growing space for herbs, fruit and vegetables all year round.  It offers a worm farm, a rainwater tank, an outdoor space and an enclosed room.  The Plant Room shades the apartment to avoid summer overheating and collects hot air to circulate warmth in the winter.  The Plant Room has been published both in New Zealand and internationally, and was highly commended for Vision + Communication in the SHAC09 Sustainable Habitat Competition.  Plant Room furniture has been exhibited at The Dowse art gallery and Candywhistle Studio in Newtown. 

Alex Hills (Project Coordinator) with Tim Gittos, Jesse Matthews, Eloise Veber, Jess Bennett and Jenni Hagedorn

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