Farmworker’s House

Farmworker's House is a country home on an idyllic, remote estate in Cornwall that draws on agricultural vernacular and the expressive qualities of timber. The design of the L-shaped, single storey building had sustainability at its heart.

The roof is constructed from home-grown, green Douglas Fir to reduce embodied carbon – and to minimise the energy impact of kiln-drying and transport to site.

The exposed rafters celebrate the timber – beautifully detailed and simply supported on load-bearing masonry walls to the perimeter, with regularly spaced, tied rafters to minimise lateral loads on to the walls.

The external wall construction is a thick single leaf of hollow terracotta blocks which provided the load-bearing capacity and required thermal properties, as an alternative to the complexity of conventional masonry cavity wall construction. The light, hollow terracotta blocks, with thinner mortar joints, are also an effective way of reducing embodied carbon.

The result is a structural embodied carbon rating of 192kgCO2e/m2. This figure represents a much higher proportion of the building total than is typical, as internal partitions and external cladding were kept to a minimum.

Project Information




Hugh Strange Architects

Timber Specialist

Timber Workshop


Jason Orton and Will Scott Photography (Construction)


RIBA National Award 2024
RIBA South West & Wessex Regional Award 2024
RIBA South West & Wessex Small Project of the Year 2024