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Charles Holland Architects


A Self Build House in Kent

CHA are working with the team behind Orchard Farm, an exciting new development of self-build houses planned near Ashford in Kent. We have developed two self-build prototypes, each offering a blueprint for a buildable, economic and characterful contemporary home.

Each house has been designed to conform to the ‘plot passport’ for the Orchard Farm site. The dimensions, orientation and siting all relate to a typical plot within the site but also offer a flexible model capable of adaption to a wide variety of sites.

The designs are flexible and can be adapted to use different materials and have different configurations. They includes an indicative garden layout, car parking space and hard standing. 

A Three-Storey House


This design offers a blueprint for a three-storey self-build house in Kent. The form, materials and layout relate to vernacular aspects of Kentish houses whilst offering a practical and delightful modern family home. The design is flexible and can be adapted to use different materials and have different configurations. 

The design has been developed through a long-standing interest in the domestic architecture of Kent. Our practice is based in Dover and most of our team live in the region. The house draws on the richness of this character, whilst responding to contemporary lifestyles and needs. In particular it refers to the weatherboarded houses of Kent, particularly those of the 18th and 19th centuries with their bays, large sash windows and variety fenestration.


The house is conceived as a simple, timber framed structure that can be finished in different materials. Our drawings illustrate the house clad in traditional timber weather-boarding but it could also be brick. The structure would use timber ‘I’ sections that allow for a deep layer of insulation to provide thermal efficiency. Windows would be timber-framed double or triple-glazed units. The roof has been conceived as having either traditional Kent Peg tiles or a metal standing-seam for the dormers.  


The interior of the house offers a compact, efficient yet delightful series of spaces. The ground floor contains a kitchen, dining room, living area plus WC and storage. The layout offers a mix of open-plan and more traditional rooms.


The plan has been designed with a range of built-in storage and furniture maximising its use, whilst being generous with space and light. The living room is also home to a bay window that pokes out into the garden, offering seating for relaxing in.

The first floor has two bedrooms and wardrobe space with the double bedroom having an en-suite bathroom built in. Both offer double aspect views over the front and rear of the house and garden.


The family bathroom can be found on the second floor opposite the third bedroom. Alongside that, there is additional wall to wall storage across the second floor. 

All three floors have the flexibility to move around; the kitchen and living room could swap on the ground floor, the bedroom with the en-suite could be flipped on the first floor and there is an option to have a larger family bathroom on the second floor.


The house has been designed to be as thermally efficient as possible and to use materials with low embodied energy to offer a sustainable and practical contemporary model. Traditional forms and materials have been adapted and updated to meet contemporary targets and the house can be built to Passivhaus principles if required.

Heat and power options include an air-source heat pump as well as solar thermal panels. Underfloor heating is assumed throughout. 


A Three-Storey House in Kent has a GEA footprint of 45m2, plot area of 287m2 and a total floor area across all three floors of 101m2.

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