Sunken House With A Courtyard Built Into The Hillside

The Inside Outside house is a really special home. As the name suggests, the house doesn’t really follow the rules. The residence is located in Dean, England, on a site surrounded by a forest and with a gentle slope.

Inside Outside house view of valley

This was a project by Loyn and Co Architects, a studio established in 1992 with a multidisciplinary and innovative approach. The specialists take on a variety of projects and always focus on ways to offer high-quality design solutions adapted to the current times. The goal is always to satisfy each client’s aspirations and requirements and in order to do that there’s no room for a person style.

Inside Outside house sunset facade

The design always adapts to each project according to each client’s requirements. The Inside Outside house was completed in 2015. It sits on a rural side in the close proximity of the forest. Thanks to the sloping form of the site, the house gets to enjoy panoramic views of the Wye Valley.

Inside Outside house outdoor deck
Inside Outside house facade and deck

The 4 acre site used to be occupied by an old house which was demolished to make room for the new one. The footprint of the existing house was preserved and the new home was designed to respect the dimensions. However, the two structures don’t have much else in common.

Inside Outside house old stone wall

The clients wanted to replace the old house with one that would be highly sustainable and energy-efficient and that would also have a contemporary design. They also wanted the new house to be a space where they could both live and work.

Inside Outside house green roof and hillside
Inside Outside house green roof sunken courtyard

Among other things, the clients requested that the house include two artist’s studios as well as a gallery-like space. The architects chose to embed the house into the site. The building cuts into the slope and becomes a buried shelter insulated by the land.

Inside Outside house green roof

Although the overall design of the house had to be modern, the architecture also needed to be timeless in order to remain inspiring and beautiful for years to come. The clients and the architects agreed that they wanted the house to contribute to the overall beauty of the surrounding landscape without having a big impact.

Inside Outside house outdoor deck
Inside Outside house large windows

The inspiration for the design, layout and everything else came from the surrounding landscape. The slope, the trees and the views all had an impact on the way the house was designed. The footprint of the old house was preserved and the new home was built from inside out.

Inside Outside house living room decor
Inside Outside house living room lounge

Being built into the slope, the house benefits from natural insulation. Being sunken into the hillside, it needed a few special features which happened to also be in sync with the clients’ desire for a sustainable and energy-efficient home.

Inside Outside house kitchen design

The house has a green roof which is highly insulated and helps conceal the building, making it a natural part of the topography. Also, the house has natural ventilation throughout and uses solar and photo voltaic panels. A rainwater harvesting system was also installed.

Inside Outside house dining area
Inside Outside house hallway gallery

The house is mostly open and has full-height windows that reveal the panoramic views of the valley. It features a beautiful mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces that seamlessly interact and also includes areas with glass ceilings or skylights which bring in natural light and expose the interior to the sky.

Inside Outside house bedroom suite
Inside Outside house bedroom windows

The interior design is a combination of modern and vintage, featuring clean and minimalist elements used in combination with ornate old furniture, traditional area rugs and other suggestive accent details. The kitchen is a transitional space which links the social areas. It has a large panorama window and a concrete countertop island which coordinates with the polished concrete floors and ceilings that define the rest of the spaces as well.

Inside Outside house concrete staircase
Inside Outside house studio interior

The bedrooms and studios are also open and defined by an eclectic décor, with contrasting materials, forms and textures.

Inside Outside house studio skylight