TREETOP RETREAT - Winner of the 2011 Daily Telegraph and Homebuilding and Renovation magazine Readers' Choice Award Woodford Architecture and Interiors were appointed to develop proposals for the redevelopment of a family home near Tintagel, North Cornwall. The house is built into a steeply sloping South facing wooded valley in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The house was built in the 1950's; with two wood burning stoves, night storage heaters and insufficient insulation. As a result the house was very cold in the winter and very expensive to heat. The clients recognised the urgent need for essential renovation work, and saw this as an opportunity to extend and refurbish the house for their growing family.

Our design enhances the existing house by providing vital additional space for the family, whist responding to its exceptional location. A conservatory has been introduced on the South-facing elevation which serves to heat up the stone walls on the ground floor which in turn act as a heat store. On the first floor large new windows allow daylight to spill in to the open-plan living room and offer stunning views of the valley.

Sustainability was one of the key design priorities; thermafleece (wool of British sheep) and pavatherm (compressed woodchip) have been used for insulation, windows and doors are made from fsc Douglas fir with low emissivity glazing and the house has been treated with environmentally friendly paints and finishes. This project demonstrates that with site specific responses and a conscientious attitude toward sustainability a stunning family home can be created without costing the earth.

Treetops is available for rental through cornishcottageholidays.co.uk