Nestled amidst the rolling hills of the Sussex Downs, the Valley View Gardens project by Alter Architects presents a forward-thinking approach to small-scale residential development. Comprising four two-story dwellings, these houses offer a blend of adaptability, accessibility, and architectural innovation, setting them apart as a paradigm for future housing concepts.
A Contradiction in Design
The architects cleverly navigated the challenges of the site, a former derelict lot behind a row of suburban houses, by embracing contradictions. While the houses are designed to shield views and maintain privacy, they simultaneously maximize natural light and showcase stunning countryside panoramas through intricate details and striking architectural forms.
Innovation at the Core
The project stands out for its innovative use of traditional building materials, seamlessly integrated with architectural and sculptural techniques. Each house features a sliced gable form, with a larger mono-pitch volume sliding forward. This design provides covered access, controls natural light, and also serves as a clever way to shield views while preserving privacy.
Shaping Light with Precision
The architects meticulously orchestrated natural light throughout the houses. The entryway, for instance, is bathed in sunlight streaming through a hole cut into the balancing mass, flanked by a glass screen and a hit-and-miss brick screen, creating a dramatic interplay of light and shadow.
Tackling Housing Needs
The project addresses the pressing issue of housing demand by proposing a new model of residential development that utilizes previously overlooked sites. These houses offer adaptable interior spaces, future-proofing them to meet the changing needs of their inhabitants. Centrally placed staircases further enhance connectivity and visibility throughout the homes.
A Challenge Overcome
The site’s derelict condition and restrictive context posed significant challenges. Alter Architects skillfully navigated these obstacles by introducing a building typology that broke down the site’s limitations, resulting in the creation of these four unique and inspiring residences.
Valley View Gardens by Alter Architects is a testament to the potential of small-scale residential developments, showcasing adaptability, innovation, and a deep respect for the surrounding landscape. The project sets a new standard for future housing concepts, offering a fresh perspective on creating sustainable, livable spaces in limited urban environments.
Project by Alter Architects
Photos by Ivan Jones