A House in the Garden

Slim Framed Sliding Glass Doors onto Submerged Home

Oxfordshire practice RPA Architects were appointed by James Barrett of Ashbrook Homes and his wife Corina to design this unique low-impact but truly cutting-edge home for their growing family.

Architect Richard Potter said, “James wanted to showcase the housebuilding skills of his company – we proposed a highly sustainable but economic earth shelter building excavated into an area of raised ground in the garden of a Listed Georgian property in order to absorb the new structure within the existing topography and have minimal impact upon its wider setting.



RPA Architects Ltd & Ashbrook Homes Ltd



A retaining wall was formed using insulated concrete formwork (ICF) as shuttering and tied to a reinforced concrete raft which raised the floor construction above anticipated flood levels and bridged natural springs which traverse the site.

The building incorporates IQ’s slim framed glazed wall solution and coupled with the extensive use of flat rooflights this has created an exceptionally light and airy interior. Photovoltaics concealed beside the grassed roof provide low-cost electricity, an MVHR system ensures a balanced low energy ventilation system and intelligent systems handle all aspects of the smart environmental and home automation installation.



Richard added, “Everyone involved with the project is delighted with the outcome – it has won a great deal of admiration and shows that design excellence can be achieved even when there are major planning constraints.

A House in the Garden was built to submerge into the landscape beneath a turf roof, overlooking a stream. IQ’s minimal windows sliding glass door system was installed onto the ground floor of the home to provide ease of access between the indoor and outdoor living spaces.


nstalling these doors onto this property also maximises the views of the surrounding greenery and enhances the natural light intake within the home. Slim framed sliding glass doors were necessary for this project as the home needed natural light to be able to pass through due to the lack of windows and doors elsewhere around the home.

These slim framed sliding glass doors created an indoor-outdoor living experience for the family to enjoy their external spaces throughout the year. With a flush finish, these doors have created easy access between the two spaces. An integrated drainage system prevents any water damage or flooding to the external living spaces.