Moonshine was one of the first projects that the practice completed, and was a self build by and for Piers Taylor and his family. In some ways it is a homage to Taylor’s teacher Glenn Murcutt, but in other ways it is also a very personal manifesto. It’s a naive building in some ways, but naive like your first record – some things work well when when they’re naive because there’s a youthful optimism. Taylor still lives here, with his partner and four children. The project became a template for many other projects the practice has completed, in its use of materials, its simplicity, its harnessing of daylight, the direct way of building, the use of ordinary materials, and the poetic sense of dwelling in a building that touches the ground lightly.
When it was built, there was no car access, and everything had to be carried down a woodland track for 500 yards. It was incredibly raw, and the building is designed to translate the site conditions into a building – with areas of transparency/solidity fitting around sunlight and shade, eaves designed to shelter parts of the building from the prevailing wind, clerestory designed to capture first rays of morning light and a foundation system designed to leave the water table and highly shrinkable clay intact. It won the AJ Small Projects Award in 2009, and was featured in the Architectural Review, AJ, Dwell, Independent, Guardian, Sunday Times, Grand Designs, CASA, and numerous books internationally. It’s dated now, too derivatively Murcuttian, a bit battered by 4 growing children, and our thinking has moved on a great deal – but we still love being able to feel like you’re living outside. The practice has since bought the surrounding woodland, which we manage and use the timber for various building projects as well as fuel.
We have recently refurbished and retrofitted the project to make it super insulated and super airtight. Details HERE
A few articles linked below:
Architectural Review: arjuly06housedone
Grand Designs: 1
100 Houses: 100 Houses
Architect’s Journal: 37_2009.01.15_Moonshine
Sunday Times: 16_SUNDAY TIMES 05