The restructuring Hunsett Mill, from Acme Architecture based in London, has been driven by a focus on environmentally friendly practices and the desire to create a building that would fit naturally into the landscape, both in terms of aesthetics and function.
The challenge of the project was the location, in the protected wetlands of the Norfolk Broads, historically adapted for industrial use, the landscape of the Broads has benefited from the contemporary trends that emphasize conservation and the return to nature. Originally the home of the guardian of the water pumping windmill, the building has undergone a number of expansions over 20 century. Were added room by room at different times, the house looked disjointed not only following the changes but also because of the collapse of land following the increase of the floods from the nearby swamps.
The restructuring of Acme Architecture demolished the old additions and returned the building to its original architecture, in their place, a single large construction has been inserted behind the house, more integrated into the landscape. The extension is designed as a shadow of the existing house, and indeed from certain points of view is barely visible behind the original property, despite its size. Its facade charred wood blends with the existing part, without resorting to imitation of traditional architectural styles and modern architecture is decidedly mixed with the use of traditional pitched roofs.
Throughout the house, exterior windows and interior and the optimal use of these spaces give a sense of spaciousness to the rooms. The ground floor is a single open space structured by a fireplace, the separation of space is obtained with changes in floor level.
On the first floor there are seven rooms with hallways that overlook the ground floor, so they are open to the entire height of two floors of the building.
The wooden walls and roofs have been selected for their insulating properties and thermal regulation,
and they were collected from sustainable forests. The technique of superficial carbonization that gives a traditional appearance and interesting for the structure not only has an aesthetic function but also functional, preserve wood without the use of chemicals.
the wood for the mill Hunsett you purchased from Japan, where the use of charred wood ('yakisugi') for construction purposes
is a common practice and where its production is more sustainable than tecnichwe UK.
The innovations of the construction process have reduced the amount of heavy machinery needed on site avoiding damage to the soil.
The architects have not neglected the broader needs of the unique landscape. The construction of a new dike directly behind buildings protects against flooding and is more reliable and efficient defenses earlier downstream, returning 25 acres of woods and meadows close to its pre-industrial condition of the swamp. Even the garden is composed of native plants to minimize its environmental impact.