Liddicoat & Goldhill

Thousand Tree House


The site for this project is a clearing at the edge of dense woodland, accessed via a lush, steeply sloping avenue; it offers panoramic views of rolling fields.

Thousand Tree House was granted special planning permission under a law which provides for the possibility that an ‘​exceptionally eco-friendly project of unequivocal architectural merit’ can be allowed in such virgin countryside. Meeting these requirements, Liddicoat & Goldhill have made a contemporary interpretation of the Essex vernacular, blended with sinuous geometry, in a playful engagement with the immediate topography.

We collaborated with ARUP Engineering to develop a new approach to sustainable design. The winged plan of the house and the spreading profile of the roof capitalises on the site’s microclimate to minimise carbon use at source. The 6,000 sqft layout of the interior spaces encourages domestic activity to follow the path of the sun through the day. Built in locally-sourced timber, construction has involved a combination of CNC pre-fabrication and traditional hand-craftsmanship on site using short-stave timber.